XBox Forensics

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US researchers have developed a forensics toolkit for the XBox gaming console that could let law enforcement agencies find any and all hidden materials easily stored on the console’s hard disk.

Computer scientist David Collins of Sam Houston State University spends many a happy day messing around with the Microsoft XBox purely in the name of science. He has now developed a digital toolkit that can extract an image of the Xbox’s FATX file system and all the contents of the drive and mount it on a separate PC for independent criminal investigation.

“Once the XBox file system is mounted, the analyst can use shell commands to browse the directory tree, open files, view files in hex editor mode, list the contents of the current directory in short or long mode and expand the current directory to list all associated subdirectories and files,” explains Collins. The same technology used for EMR can now put criminals behind bars.

So, if you’re a cyber criminal and you thought you were safe from the law in hiding your illicit files in the arcane and ill-documented FATX system, think again. Collins is on the case.

Research Blogging IconDavid Collins (2009). XFT: a forensic toolkit for the original Xbox game console Int. J. Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, 2 (2), 199-205

2 thoughts on “XBox Forensics”

  1. Oh Wow! But hang on, is this saying that now terrorists organizations are using Xbox games to send encoded messages to each other? I wouldn’t be surprised if they are. I still remember how they used video files to send messages to each other.

    1. @Nik Somehow I don’t think this tool is for unearthing terrorist cells ;-) It’s presumably more to do with prosecuting individuals who are hiding illegal images and files on this device rather than the more obvious PC.

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