Federal agents get equipment from busts and through warrants all the time. Often that equipment is password protected and those agents can't force someone to tell them their passwords, instead they use $8300 servers to crack the password by trying the almost unlimited number of letter/number combinations using a a technique called "brute force password cracking."
Sony's PS3 has been a gift to Feds, and I suppose in a way, to our tax dollars. What used to cost Federal agents $8300 to do can now be done with a $300 PS3.
The original PS3s let you install Linux, which is what is used to crack the passwords. Sony has taken the Linux feature out of the PS3 in order to save costs and lower the price, so any new PS3 aren't of use to the Feds. They are now turning to eBay to pick up 20 more original PS3s for the use of password cracking.
Who would have thought a gaming system would have so many uses?
Full story, here.