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Incriminating Data No Longer Safe on Xboxes

| 4 May 2009 14:39
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A new forensic toolkit can decode and read Xbox hard drives modified to hold illegal content.

Criminals who traffic in illegal data are very aware that if the police come knocking, their PC is likely the first place they'll search for incriminating evidence. This means finding alternative storage methods is surely a priority. Original Xboxes contain a hard drive and can be modified to act like regular PCs, which can then be used to store illegal content such as child pornography.

The allure of using the Xbox as a storage device for illegal content lies in the fact that the modification leaves no trace on the hard drive or system itself, and that the Xbox uses an unconventional FATX system that makes it difficult to read like a normal hard drive. According to Discover:

"While it's normal for law enforcement officials to confiscate a suspect's Xbox, forensic scientists must then make a copy of the hard drive to analyze its contents (which is the same process that is used when digging for clues on PCs). Without the interface that Collin's [the inventor] tool provides, the bit-for-bit information on an Xbox remains buried, unable to be read by current forensics software."

The program, named XFT, allows for the Xbox hard drives to be read and explored, and also allows for the sessions to be recorded, a big help in proving before a court that the data was not tampered with. Given the abundance of electronics and storage devices in the average household, this technical game of cat and mouse is likely to drag on for as long as criminals can find unorthodox places to stash their data.

And before the fanboys come lurking out, let's keep in mind that only original Xbox fans can be libelously labeled as filth, filthy pedophiles.

Source: www.blogs.discovermagazine.com (Via N4G)

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