NIST adds gaming software to National Software Reference Library

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced today that it has added gaming software to its National Software Reference Library (NSRL), a database of the world’s most widely-installed software. Games from Steam, Origin, and the Blizzard launcher Battle.net were included.

The NSRL is one of the world’s largest software libraries, and is used as a resource for cybersecurity and forensics experts to track popular software programs that are known quantities and therefore likely irrelevant to potential investigations. The existance of the database helps such professionals weed out large quantities of irrelevant evidence, allowing them hone in on programs that warrant further examination.

For example, if a computer hard drive that was seized in an investigation had PUBG installed on it, an investigator could quickly check the unique identification of the software against the NSRL. The investigator would find a match, and could then quickly dismiss it and any other games or software that matched as irrelevant to the investigation, while any software that wasn’t on the NSRL would be looked into further.

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