In the wake of Friday's horrific attacks on Paris, officials and investigators continue to piece together not only who was responsible for the bloodiest attack on French soil since WWII -- but also, how the attacks were planned and carried out in secrecy.
One theory that is currently being debated, but may end up holding some validity: terrorists communicated via their Playstation 4s -- one of the world's most popular gaming consoles that's equipped with several methods of console-to-console communication. According to a report by Forbes, the recent anti-terrorism raids in Brussels turned up at least one PS4 (a notion that was disputed by the Verge, and chalked up as a "reporting error"). Despite the supposed error in reporting, the idea of terrorists using Sony's most current console to communicate and plan attacks has been floated before by Belgian federal home affairs minister Jan Jambon.
More than 110 million people use PSN (Playstation's online gaming service, connected to the console), and while authorities have some reason to believe that the use of PS4 networks may be involved with the planning and undertaking of the attacks by ISIS, nothing has been confirmed as of right now -- which is important to remember.
But, the idea may seem novel in concept, though the application could be surprisingly easy, as the console provides multiple lines of of communication for users including text messaging, direct voice communication, and in-game means of sending messages. With the overall system being more primitive than other mainstream messaging services, it offers a unique opportunity for users to fly under the radar, undetected. And it's not as if governments and law enforcement agencies across the world are unaware of the possibility of real-life menace within online worlds, as the CIA and NSA both have infiltrated online games in the past in an effort to keep tabs on terrorist communication within online games like World of Warcraft. But, for agencies to even be able to monitor communications on these consoles (never mind the legality of it all), entire consoles would have to be tapped, totally -- which may not even be possible at this point, according to the Forbes' report.
Clarification of the claimed "reporting error," as well as more information on the validity of the Forbes' report, should be expected to unfold over the course of the next few weeks.
Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer for Thrillist. Follow him @wilfulton
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