Feeds

US cracks down on mod-chippers

'Storms' businesses, homes in 16 states

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A US government agency has launched a big investigation into gaming console piracy. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has executed 32 federal warrants across the country, searching businesses and homes for clues surrounding the potential sale and distribution of illegal modification chips and disc copyright circumvention devices for games consoles.

Officials from 22 ICE offices "stormed" businesses, shops, and private residences across 16 states, including California, New York, Florida, and Texas. The ICE says its actions are the result of a year-long investigation.

ICE said it is targeting chips and devices that allow gamers to play pirated and/or counterfeit software on a range of consoles, including the PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Wii.

ICE has not yet shed any light on what it recovered from the searches. However, it said people at the 32 locations are allegedly involved in the direct importation, installation, sale, and distribution of such devices, manufactured in foreign countries and then smuggled into the US.

Counterfeiting and piracy costs the US up to $250bn each year and Microsoft has already released a statement proclaiming its full support of ICE's actions. The company stated that the work is an "important step in the continuing fight against piracy".

Last year, a video was posted online that apparently showed an Xbox 360's security system being hacked, allowing the console's DVD drive firmware to play DVD ±R discs - rather than rejecting them.

Earlier this year, an online report also claimed that Nintendo is tweaking the Wii's internal workings to prevent the use of console modification chips.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.