FBI searching for PS4 user who allegedly used PSN to deal drugs - Dexerto
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FBI searching for PS4 user who allegedly used PSN to deal drugs

Published: 4/Dec/2019 5:27

by Isaac McIntyre

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The FBI has requested Sony provide data on a PlayStation 4 user who allegedly used the console’s online service to deal thousands of dollars worth of drugs as part of a cocaine distribution network, according to court records.

According to the reports, which were first reviewed by Motherboard, the FBI is ordering the electronics and entertainment company to disclose information on a man named Curtis ‘Dola’ Alexander, including what games he played on the PS4.

“The Provider is hereby ordered to disclose the above information to the Government within 14 days of service of this warrant,” the search warrant application, filed on October 22 in the Western District of Missouri, reads.

The orders also request Sony detail all progress made in the games played on the console, the physical address and telephone numbers associated with his PlayStation account, security questions, and his IP address.

The FBI has been allowed to make this request due to evidence they allegedly have regarding the fact “Speedola20,” as Alexander was known online, used PSN access to coordinate the sale of more than $34,000 worth of cocaine.

The application also reveals that a Confidential Human Source (CHS) confirmed Alexander contacted them “during game.” After setting up a meeting, Alexander sold the CHS a bag of an estimated 100 grams of white powder for $4,400.

HealthlinePlayStation Network user Speedola20 allegedly used the service to coordinate the sale of more than $34,000 worth of cocaine.

All this was facilitated through PlayStation’s instant messaging system, which allows ‘friends’ to speak over the console. It was also suggested Alexander and the CHS took their conversation into the PS4’s audio chat rooms.

“Investigators believe Alexander likely believes communication during the course of his participation in an online game is secure,” the FBI detailed in the warrant request for Dola’s PSN information. “As such, Alexander likely believes he can use audio during gameplay to arrange the details of a drug transaction.”

Dexerto has yet to ascertain what game, or games, Alexander was playing during his facilitation of the $4,400 drug deal, and whether he has been employing the same technique to move the other $30,000 worth of illegal substances.

Sony EntertainmentAlexander allegedly used the PlayStation Network’s messaging system to organize deals.

This isn’t the first time Sony has been approached by the FBI for information on a gamer using the console’s online systems either.

In May 2017, the FBI was granted information from Sony relating to a suspect that the FBI believed was planning to travel from Kansas to the Middle East to fight on behalf of a terrorist organization, and had been contacted through the PS4.

The gamer, Isse Aweis Mohamud, was alleged in the warrant to have a travel plan from Kansas to Egypt, and then to Iraq, to join a terrorist cell. Sony disclosed they had released PSN account info in February 2018, according to Forbes.

Sony EntertainmentThis isn’t the first time the FBI has asked Sony to share PSN information for an investigation.

There has, as yet, been no information on the location or arrest of Alexander, but with the FBI now possibly in possession of his personal information from the PlayStation Network, it’s likely they will have a leg up in finding the criminal dealer.

It has also not been confirmed whether Sony complied with the FBI at the end of the 14-day window, though considering the company helped the agency in the past, it’s likely they complied with the October 22 court order as well.

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Police hunt for suspect after hoax hostage situation at Ubisoft Montreal

Published: 13/Nov/2020 19:45 Updated: 14/Nov/2020 0:37

by Theo Salaun

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Reports indicate that there is an ongoing hostage situation involving dozens of people at Ubisoft Montreal’s headquarters in the Mile-End neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec. There have been no confirmed injuries.

Update (7:35 p.m. ET): Ubisoft Montreal have released a statement regarding the hostage situation. “We are extremely relieved this was resolved without incident and we’d like to thank you all for your support and kind words.”

No injuries were reported at the offices. Montreal Police are launching a full investigation into the call.

Update (5:04 p.m. ET): All of the Ubisoft Montreal’s building occupants are being safely evacuated by Montreal’s police force and the police have joined local news in suggesting that the situation was, in fact, a hoax perpetrated by a call within the Ubisoft headquarters. No suspect has been identified or apprehended at this point, but the SPVM are actively investigating.

Update (4:04 p.m. ET): While local news outlets are reporting that the hostage situation was a hoax, Montreal’s police force have indeed confirmed that there appears to be no active threat and that the building’s occupants are being evacuated.

Update (3:33 p.m. ET): Little is known about the police force’s ongoing activity in attempts to enter the building, but CTV News reports that Ubisoft’s employees have been told, via company memo, to “hide in an area that locks and to keep quiet.”

Update (3:00 p.m. ET): Heavily armed Montreal police tactical units are approaching the building and preparing to make entry. Dozens of employees remain on roof and no injuries or negotiations with the suspects have been reported thus far.

Update (November 13, 2020 at 2:49 p.m. ET): Police appear to have barricaded off the daycare at Ubisoft Montreal’s headquarters, at least 50 employees have barricaded themselves atop the building’s roof, and tactical police units have blocked off surrounding streets and appear to be preparing to make entry. Current reports indicate that there have been no injuries thus far, according to local news on the scene.

With numerous reports and tweets from local news and Ubisoft Montreal employees, respectively, it appears that a hostage situation is unfolding at the company’s headquarters but that all employees are safe. 

In the afternoon, it was reported by Quebec’s TVA Nouvelles that dozens of hostages were being held at Ubisoft Montreal’s building on Saint Laurent Boulevard. This ongoing situation was echoed by Montreal’s police department, who put out public announcements to avoid the area due to the police’s efforts there.

Shortly after, numerous employees, including Programming Project Lead Gavin Young and a Production Marketer for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, tweeted that they were indeed safe and sound despite what was happening in the building.

Although ‘Valskuiken’ tweeted that they would be going home, it appears that a large conglomerate of employees have made their ways to the building’s roof and have barricaded themselves up there by blocking off the door to the exterior.

Further, reports from TVA Nouvelles indicate that a ransom request has been made by the suspects, but it is unclear what has come of it as police continue to operate in the vicinity.

At present, it appears that numerous employees are safe but it is unclear what is precisely happening with the situation given the multi-floor building’s space and large occupancy. At least 50 employees have made it to the roof, wherereports show they are holding up safely. However, in anticipation of the police force making entry into the building, it seems that ambulances and a tactical police force are arriving to the scene.

As reports indicate, the tactical forces approaching the building include numerous police officers, tactical police units, and heavier vehicles. There have been no indications of injuries thus far, so it appears that the ambulances are predominantly a precautionary measure.

We will be continuing to update this page with updates as they come in and as the Montreal police force and local news provide information to the public about the current circumstances.