Busted computing: analyzing the console gaming Threat Model presented at DevSecConBoston 2018

by Conor Walsh,

Summary : The video gaming threat landscape has always been rife with trouble. It may not contain some of the more advanced threats that we see today, but the actors in the space are persistent and ever vigilant. The industry has taken steps towards securing their environments for their users over the years, but always seem a little behind the curve when it comes to security. Manufacturers have gone the route of building “trusted computing platforms” for third-party game developers to create titles for. These systems promise to restrict user input and allow only what the developers allow it to. Yet like any human creation nothing is perfect and when these platforms are compromised, the developers and their customers oft find themselves in hot modder water.In this presentation we will take a look at the threat model for networked console video gaming. A walk through the threat landscape, targets, and actor motivations will show the what and why. From there we’ll take a security professional approach to looking at what is being done by these “modders” out in the wild, including in-game demonstrations on past popular titles with some mods made specially for this presentation. Finally we’ll take a look at the future, and what it looks like for current generation console gaming and what developers and security pros can do to secure there games in the past, present and future, including some tooling built with the leaked and DMCA squashed SDK for the Sony Playstation 4.