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PlayStation (Games) Sony Games Hardware

PS3 Hacked? 296

Posted by Soulskill
from the another-one-bites-the-dust dept.
Several readers have sent word that George Hotz (a.k.a. geohot), the hacker best known for unlocking Apple's iPhone, says he has now hacked the PlayStation 3. From his blog post: "I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I've also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip. 3 years, 2 months, 11 days...that's a pretty secure system. ... As far as the exploit goes, I'm not revealing it yet. The theory isn't really patchable, but they can make implementations much harder. Also, for obvious reasons I can't post dumps. I'm hoping to find the decryption keys and post them, but they may be embedded in hardware. Hopefully keys are setup like the iPhone's KBAG."
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PS3 Hacked?

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  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Monday January 25, 2010 @07:45AM (#30888256) Journal

    This whole DLNA (DNLA?) rubbish is gross, it's so backwards.
    I don't want to transcode, I just want a damned good media centre (and a gaming machine!) the XBMC devs had started considering work on the PS3 a long time ago but then Sony closed the loophole to access the video card under linux (or rather accelerated mode?) so it was scrapped.

    The PS3 is a fantastic chunk of hardware and while I'd really rather not get banned from their system as I have no intention (or time anymore) to pirate games, I'd love to see the machine play back stuff a bit better. (it does fairly well now but it's nothing on XBMC)
    The machine has 256mb of system ram, does 1080p output, optical output, 7.1 dolby hardware, wifi, hard disk, USB 2.0, gigabit networking - it's more than enough to do HD XBMC.
    Fingers crossed in 12 to 18 months time there's some kind of news.

  • by alnya (513364) on Monday January 25, 2010 @07:59AM (#30888320)

    I dont want to start a Holy war or anything, but PS3 Media Server [google.com] is a million times better than TVersity (which many people report having problems wtih it's stability etc)

    YMMV of course

  • by TheBiGW (982686) on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:01AM (#30888338)
    This already exists. XBMC has been ported to Windows, MacOS and Linux. A small nettop like the Asrock ION 330 is smaller and quieter than either the XBox 360 or the PS3 and is more than capable of playing back high def content.
  • RSX in Linux? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Arakageeta (671142) on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:10AM (#30888396)

    Linux on PS3 for non-scientific work has been a disappointing experience. There is very little code out there that uses the SPUs (and the PPU stinks for general purpose computing) and the hypervisor prevents hardware accelerated graphics.

    While the first issue has to do with the community, the second is a restriction imposed by Sony. Perhaps this hack will make it possible to use the RSX (PS3's hardware graphics) in Linux? Maybe then an SNES emulator will run better on a PS3 than a second-gen iMac.

    What is the Linux community's willingness to embrace a hack such as this?

  • Re:Cheating (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AuMatar (183847) on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:18AM (#30888446)

    You can easily cheat anyway. Just use a gateway between your PS3 and the internet. Then you can alter the packet data to your heart's content. See an enemy? Have the program on the gateway auto-aim for you by changing your target coordinates. If you're counting on the platform to stop cheaters you'll be very disappointed. I'd be quite shocked if such programs don't already get used, I know they existed for past platforms.

  • Re:Cheating (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hardhead_7 (987030) on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:29AM (#30888492)
    Oh, sure, that's probably true. But if it's made difficult enough, and the vendor is vigilant for hacking, it can be made almost impossible. Take the 360, where just a couple months ago a ton of hacked consoles were banned from Xbox Live forever. Most people just don't bother with hacking because they know that one day Microsoft might bring the hammer down on them for online play. And it works. I have several friends who pirate practically all the media they consume, but they have vanilla unmodded Xboxes and buy their games. Why? Because Microsoft's anti-piracy and anti-cheat has been overall successful, and really the only way you can cheat on Live is with a lag switch, and even that is harder now since most games let people boot obvious cheaters. What has been said in jest many many times here, I say with a straight face. I, for one, welcome our new online game overlords. I don't play online PC games anymore because of all the cheating issues. There are sooo many less cheaters on Xbox it's a whole different world.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:40AM (#30888554)

    Before anyone goes "oh, this is only so people can play copies and cheat".

    Read the other comments. See what people would like out of their PS3. They want to do "real" homebrew software, with full hardware access instead of the castrated version Sony "allows". They want to use their PS3 as a Media Center, something that's simply impossible with the current setup.

    Give the people what they want and they will not crack your hardware open. Sure, some will do it for the "going to the moon" reason (it's there, and we can), but most will want their box to do what they want to do. If the box does it, no hacking will happen.

    I modded my old XBox. Why? Because I wanted to run XBMC. It wanted a way to stream my movies on my HD to my TV easily. The XBox was there, a TV card for my computer wasn't (the SVideo output was really crappy), so it was a no brainer that I'd want my XBox which had logically a good TV compatible output to do the trick. It didn't do it out of the box, so it was modded. Oddly, I never bought a single game ever since, wonder why that could be...

    Bottom line, when people "hack" a platform, they will of course strip all copy restriction as well, simply because it limits the ability of the box and it's possible. If you want to keep your users from hacking their box, give the box any ability your users might want to get out of it.

  • by Nikker (749551) on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:52AM (#30888636)
    Hell a box like that with Linux and Cedega you would have a pretty cheap kick ass HTPC that could run a few PC games as well. Video transcoding, ripping, HDMI, ability to play almost any format of audio/video, really good processing power for the price, maybe I should get a job selling these babies. At the end of the day Sony is pissed because of their narrow minded approach that their game sales will tank but if enough of these things are hooked up to enough TV sets they will have a new opportunity maybe even roll their own OS that people actually want to use. Sony can put a pretty penny into R&D for a new OS / UI that could be pretty enough and they can sell you bits and bytes all day long. This is really what evolution/revolution is all about, sometimes they drag us kicking and screaming sometimes we do the same to them.
  • Re:RSX in Linux? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:56AM (#30888652)

    The Linux community can't touch this with a 10 foot pole, and that's a good thing. The Linux community would rather avoid the legal grey area that is involved with no-copyright-restriction. Let someone else do the dirty work.

    But that doesn't really matter. The "scene" will be able to take full use of this hack. And the best part is that the scene is free to use whatever code they feel like. If that means quality open-source code ported to the PS3, then so be it. It wouldn't be the first time.

    *note* laughing out loud at captcha: decrypts

  • by muffen (321442) on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:12AM (#30888754)
    Not sure where you live but where I am, the old PS3 goes for more money then the new slim one, simply because it also allows you to play PS2 games (slim does not).
    Sure you can find the odd cheap one off Ebay etc, but its still a big hassle, that is if you get one at all.

    I have mixed feelings about the hack, only time will tell if its good or bad.
    If it really works without any modchip then it does bring the thoughts to the SEGA Dreamcast, awesome machine but seriously flawed copyprotection.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:15AM (#30888774) Homepage Journal

    Only by selling games for it do they actually make money.

    I bought a used Xbox to use it for a media center, and would up buying half a dozen new games and about that many used ones. The new games are sales Microsoft would not have made if not for the existence of XBMC. In addition, the consoles are now sold at a profit, however slight, and add to sales figures which corporations and fanboys alike love to announce.

    So, while this part of your comment is accurate, the rest is nonsense. Getting the console into my house is a way to sneak games in there, too.

  • by TeknoHog (164938) on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:17AM (#30888790) Homepage Journal

    If you buy a PS3 and use it as a computer or HTPC or whatever, they lose money on it.

    So why did Sony enable the installation of Linux or other OSes on the non-slim version? Even without the GPU, it has turned out an incredibly powerful computer for some uses. Some research groups use a cluster of PS3s for scientific work, for example.

  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:33AM (#30888920) Homepage Journal
    "Lack of lettered buttons"? They're all lettered. I see a Greek delta, an omicron or O, a chi or X, and a katakana ro. But then I also see an X, a box (square), and 360 degrees (circle) [wikia.com].
  • Re:Cheating (Score:1, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:40AM (#30888978) Homepage Journal

    The reason cheating is a problem is because we are forced to play on the vendor's network, which brings us back to this being all about copy protection.

    This is 2010. Why shouldn't I be able to put up a server and host a game that people can connect to with their PS3 and Xboxes?

    For that matter, why shouldn't there be cross-platform network play?

    If companies were so concerned about "cheating" in games, why do they build cheat codes into games? And don't tell me it's all about developers testing their code. That wouldn't explain why certain cheat codes unlock game elements sponsored by big corporations. If I put in just the right selection of buttons in just the right pattern, I get that especially hot car with the big Best Buy logo on it.

    Sony and Microsoft could give a shit about cheaters. They just don't want people using their "razors" with anything but their own razorblades.

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:50AM (#30889088)

    at least the ps3 lets use your own HDD unlike m$ that bans you if you use there own disk and not there $149.99 160gb disk. they also ban for 3rd party memory cards as well.

  • Cool... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PinchDuck (199974) on Monday January 25, 2010 @10:05AM (#30889246)

    It will be very cool to have full system access to the resources of the PS3. Also, I know that the Cell itself has security baked into it. Does this imply that the cell itself has been compromised? I know that the two events are unrelated, but shame on you Sony for removing the Other OS option from the Slim. Why take away the coolest part of the system?

  • Too much (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 25, 2010 @11:03AM (#30890134)

    Even if the PS3 is hacked to run backups, it will still cost a fortune for Blueray discs, at over $5 a disc for the cheap brand, and over $200 for a burner. It just isn't worth it right now.

  • Re:Cheating (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kyrre (197103) on Monday January 25, 2010 @11:08AM (#30890190)

    You could use PhyreEngine [wikipedia.org] and a debug PS3. I think they cost about twice that of a normal PS3.

  • by Jaqenn (996058) on Monday January 25, 2010 @12:58PM (#30892150)
    I had an idea for WiiWare that I was interested in putting together, but was turned off by Nintendo's policy which specifically calls for a 'secured office environment capable of protecting our intellectual property', and additionally says that home offices are unacceptable. So I noted with great interest an interview with 2DBoy when they related that they floated from coffee shop to coffee shop during the development of World of Goo [gamasutra.com]:

    Are you guys officially the entirety of 2D Boy?

    KG: Yeah, we're just two people for the bulk of this project. We don't have an office, but we're not allowed to say that, so we just work out of coffee shops and stuff.

    I'd be interested to know how wide (and how common) the gap is between Nintendo's stated devkit policy and reality, because there's plenty of WiiWare titles that I can't see how they ever came out of a professional studio.

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