Investigating the Security and Digital Forensics of Video Games and Gaming Systems: a Study of PC Games and PS4 Console

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communications






As video games received rapidly increasing attention, modern video games are often concerned with security and privacy issues. Many such video games and game console systems graciously allow player customization, giving people with malicious intent a new vector to lunch security attacks and exchange secretive messages, which posts new challenges to the society of security and digital forensics. In this research, we investigate the security of four popular PC video games and the Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) game console. Our study showed that each of these video games has at least one feature that may possibly be exploited by attackers for transmitting secretive information, which is very difficult to be detected using current forensic tools. As for gaming consoles, the hard drive of PS4 console is encrypted and consequently most part of its file system cannot be analyzed using current forensic tools such as AccessData's Forensic Toolkit (FTK). However, it is still possible to lunch Denial of Service (DoS) and ARP cache poisoning attacks to the console, which may slow down and halt the system and potentially expose security sensitive information. Based on the above findings, we offer recommendations on how and where security professionals and digital investigators may search for hidden data.