Sony's console uses encrypted messaging systems by default and is not as well monitored as other forms of communication

Paris terrorists may have used PS4 for communication

Terrorists involved in Friday night’s attacks in Paris could have been using Sony’s PlayStation 4 games console to send encrypted messages.

Belgian police have reportedly seized one of the consoles during anti-terror raids in Brussels over the weekend.

The country's federal home affairs minister, Jan Jambon, has also referred to the console when discussing how the terrorists could have communicated.

"The thing that keeps me awake at night is the guy behind his computer, looking for messages from IS and other hate preachers," Jambon said.

"PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp."

The console itself uses the PlayStation Network online platform to send encrypted text and voice communications

Security experts have suggested that with investigators prioritising more traditional means of communication, including email, instant messaging and phone calls, messages passed between games consoles are harder to spot and could have gone undetected.

It is more difficult to monitor conversations conducted over the console than mobile phones, because in addition to the encryption protocols, discussions between users are instigated through the creation of private chat rooms which makes eavesdropping by the authorities difficult without directly joining the room and alerting the other users.

There have also been suggestions that terror suspects could even use codes within video games in order to communicate with one another.

It is thought that one of the suicide bombers in the Paris attack had featured in a previous terrorism investigation but slipped through the net.

Prosecutors identified one of the assailants who blew himself up in the Bataclan music hall on Friday as Samy Amimour, a 28-year-old Frenchman.

In a disclosure that will deepen concerns over possible intelligence failures, officials revealed that Amimour had been charged in a terror probe in 2012 over claims he planned to travel to Yemen.

He was placed under judicial supervision but dropped off the radar - prompting authorities to issue an international arrest warrant.

Among the documents leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden in 2013 were revelations that British and US intelligence agencies embedded themselves in popular online games such as World of Warcraft in order to monitor alleged virtual terrorist meet-ups.

Under recently introduced legislation, communication companies will soon be obliged to allow the government to infiltrate mobile phone networks to spy on the smartphones of criminal suspects.

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