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PlayStation (Games) Sony Games

PS3 Hacked via USB Dongle 337

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the dongle-this dept.
dlove67 writes "PSX-scene.com reports that the first PS3 modchip has been tested and confirmed to be working. Running off of a USB dongle, it appears to be relatively user friendly and claims to not void your warranty. Online gameplay works (at least for the time being). It's been a long time coming; cheers to the PS Jailbreak Guys." The video is attached below if you're curious. Can't help but point out that this wouldn't have happened if Sony hadn't decided to yank the Boot Other OS option.

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PS3 Hacked via USB Dongle

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  • by TrisexualPuppy (976893) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:13AM (#33301146)
    The forum link is broken. The video does not say anything about how they did it or how it works. It's merely a suggestion that the product does work and then is a link to where to buy it.

    Nothing to see here.
  • The whole reason I bought a PS3 was because it was a closed platform

    Which is one of the reasons why I did not. Closed platforms tend not to get indie games or legitimate mods. If Half-Life were for a closed platform, for instance, there wouldn't have been a Counter-Strike.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:17AM (#33301224)
    Who on earth bothers to hack a console FPS? It's like using performance-enhancing drugs at a child's sports day.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:21AM (#33301288)

    Can't help but point out that this wouldn't have happened if Sony hadn't decided to yank the Boot Other OS option.

    why? Can somebody please explain? the linked site seems down so maybe that's what I'm missing.

    because nobody uses mod-chips to pirate games, they only use them to boot linux and run homebrew, since computers are so expensive and PS3s are so cheap, this is the only option that some people have. There aren't many pieces of consumer electronics that can run linux, you know.

    Most of the pirates don't have the technical abilities to hack a console. The people who do have the technical ability and inclination to hack a console, won't bother if they can tinker with it themselves without bypassing the security, which OtherOS allowed them to do. By removing OtherOS, they were basically asking the people with the skills, ability and inclination to bypass their security so that they could put another OS back on.

    The initial heavy lifting to hack the original XBox, 360 and Wii were done by people trying to put Linux on them.

  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:23AM (#33301326)
    So... people weren't interested in cracking the PS3 when news hit on just about every gaming website that someone had got a 'hello world' working on the console? Lots of people got really excited about that, even though it was only a minor achievement and even then, it was probably faked.

    It's the good old "any justification I can grasp at for piracy".
  • Yeah, right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:24AM (#33301338)

    Can't help but point out that this wouldn't have happened if Sony hadn't decided to yank the Boot Other OS option.

    If you really believe that this product is of absolutely no interest to people who want to run backups of games they have borrowed from 30,000 friends off the internet for an indefinite trial, then I have a bridge to sell you.

  • by Mad Leper (670146) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:24AM (#33301340)

    Yeah, this is quite obviously a fake. For a PS3 hack to suddenly appear out of nowhere and a rumored $170 fee for the USB stick just stinks of rip-off.

    The PS3 has resisted cracking for over three years, even the great Geohot tried and failed to even make a dent. The fact that it's been impossible to play cracked games on the PS3 has worked the pirate community into such a tizzy that it's likely we'll see more scams like this in the future.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:26AM (#33301392)

    It's the good old 'consumer fighting back to use hardware they bought however they want and not how Sony tells them'.

  • by Trevelyan (535381) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:31AM (#33301454)
    Homebrew scene != Pirate scene

    The homebrew guys are generally more motivated and talented then the pirates. Almost all console hacks come from the homebrew guys so that they can run their own stuff (and linux).

    The pirates tend to take homebrew code and use it to run pirated games.

    The entire time that PS2 had the "Other OS" option it was not cracked, because the homebrew community could already run their stuff. Compare that to XBOX and WII both of which have been broken a long time ago. As soon as Sony closed off the homebrew community, the inevitable would happen.

    Of course its not so black and white, there is overlap between homebrew and pirates, but not as much as you might assume. Take a look at TeamTwizzers long campaign against pirates from using their code. They even tried in the beginning to have a dialogue with Nintendo about ways to support homebrew and keep the pirates out.

    Going back to PS2; even with the "Other OS" option the advanced graphic features were locked, so homebrew games could never take full advantage of the hardware (neither could Other OS be used for pirate games). Some months ago a way was found for full hardware access, and not long after that Sony reacted by removing the Other OS feature.
  • by mlts (1038732) * on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:32AM (#33301486)

    Exactly what I mean. If an offshore gold seller hands their credit card information to another group who creates accounts on a MMO for blackhat reasons, the gold seller doesn't have to worry about violating such guidelines. Even if they are caught, if they are in a country that isn't on buddy-buddy terms with the West, the seller likely will face zero consequences.

  • by damien_kane (519267) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:36AM (#33301550)

    why? Can somebody please explain? the linked site seems down so maybe that's what I'm missing.

    While one of my siblings states that "nobody uses mod-chips to pirate games", this isn't exactly true.
    The first modders aren't doing it to pirate games. They simply want to write their own apps and run their own code on a different platform, or they want to fool around with the hardware and learn how it works, without having to pay 10s of thousands of dollars for development machines.

    So, they build mods that allow running of unsigned code. This was true for the Wii, the 360, NDS, etc.
    If there is a closed system, there exists somewhere in the world someone with the knowledge and will to break it, if for no other reason than to say they did.

    Previously, with the ability to run linux natively on the PS3, these homebrew developers had the ability to code for a cell, and rather cheaply (at the cost of a PS3 and a keyboard). Granted, they didn't have access to the graphics capabilities, neither the hypervisor, but they could run anything they themselves coded for the cell architecture, without being hassled by Sony.

    One person got close to breaking into the hypervisor through a bug that Sony either couldn't, or didn't want to spend time to, fix.
    He did this so that he could develop homebrew applications that took advantage of the graphics capabilities, mostly. Pirating games wasn't his primary drive.
    In response, Sony simply removed access to "Other OS" completely.

    With no outlet to run their unsigned code, hackers have made a push to break the system so they can again do so with updated firmware.

    As stated in another thread, the pirate community just waits until someone breaks the system (without any ill intent), and then duplicates that exploit (and in the case of a hardware mod, usually capitalizes on it).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:37AM (#33301562)

    They didn't even claim the Other OS removal was to prevent this - that was conjecture. Meanwhile I'm STILL being attacked by Sony for wanting to use the functionality the machine was sold for, and this (quite expensive) disc boot feature does NOT cover Other OS. The next iteration of game masters is bound to demand an upgrade to a version of the firmware that kills this option, too. PS3 has been transformed to the "can't play its own games" brand.
    Backup capability is nice, and PS machines have a history of optical drives breaking, but mine still work. Thus I don't need this mod. I'll consider it if it can be demonstrated to run Other OS, but even then a way to protect against future SCE sabotage is needed.

  • by Superken7 (893292) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:39AM (#33301608) Journal

    I know, thats why this story is surprising, because its exactly the opposite as what you just said.

    Otherwise they would have at demoed booting linux at least.
    Also, I have not read any text of the official release so I don't know if they mention any of this, but this might very well just be coincidence. Or maybe not..

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sancho (17056) * on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:42AM (#33301654) Homepage

    False dichotomy. Try again.

  • by somersault (912633) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:43AM (#33301666) Homepage Journal

    Yeah I found it rather sad when he was like "now this is what you've all been waiting for!", I thought he was going to load Other OS - but instead he demonstrates that you can now pirate games.. what an asshole..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:43AM (#33301672)

    Except that the only reason that people by these mod chips is to play burned games. To claim this has anything to do with homebrew or being able to install Linux is naïveté to the highest degree.

  • $170 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bhunachchicken (834243) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:48AM (#33301738) Homepage

    ... is the asking price of the dongle. They're taking pre-orders now, apparently. Take the money and run..?

  • by maxwell demon (590494) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:49AM (#33301756) Journal

    Yeah, and every day many crimes are done with guns, which clearly proves that guns only exist in order to enable crime. Obviously the inventor of the gun was a criminal. Right?

    Of course, as soon as the mod chip exists, pirates will use it. And it may well be that they outnumber the other users. But that doesn't tell you the slightest bit about the motivation of the person who originally created the mod chip.

  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @09:57AM (#33301860)

    Did you still want to keep Other OS? You had the option to decline their update.

    The problem is that by declining the update, you were effectively locked out of online game play, including for games you already owned. So, they didn't send killbots to your house, but they did force you to chose other OS xor games. For those that bought the console because it could do both, this really sucks.

  • by cgenman (325138) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:01AM (#33301928) Homepage

    What? I'm failing to see how some of this is Security through Obscurity. There was a security hole in the other OS that they couldn't think of a way of patching without removing the core functionality, so they removed it. That makes sense from a security standpoint.

    They're going through security through security. They patch holes, make improvements, and get better at this whole thing. The PS1 was hackable in 1 wire. The PS2 required an additional circuit board for a mod chip. The PS3 isn't pragmatically hackable in that way, because they improved their security. Now someone found a hole in the USB stack. This will probably be patched too.

    When you say security through obscurity, you usually mean "nobody is going to type in 'website.com/passwords' into the server!" The way you're using it, it makes it sound like any DRM even on a closed platform is doomed. And while that is possible, the pragmatic advantages of avoiding PS1-levels of piracy mean that the program has basically been a success.

  • by kg8484 (1755554) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:03AM (#33301944)

    I think you are missing the point of the argument that others are making. Let's take your two circles. The first is the size of a quarter and represents users that want to run Linux, and the second circle is the number of people who want to pirate games and that is 50 meters in diameter. However, you will find that not everyone in either circle has the technical proficiency to actually do the hacking, but the average technical aptitude of people in the Linux circle is far greater than the mean aptitude in the piracy circle. The real comparison needs to be between the people who want to run Linux, have the technical ability to do the hacking and are willing to invest the time to do it versus to the people whose motivation is piracy. The argument that is made is that the Linux circle now shrinks to the size of a dime, whereas you would need a microscope to see the piracy circle.

  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:06AM (#33302008)
    The video is attached below if you're curious. Can't help but point out that this wouldn't have happened if Sony hadn't decided to yank the Boot Other OS option.

    Bollocks. Other systems have dozens of mods, why would it be any different for the PS3? That's assuming this is a legit hack which is questionable without further info.

  • by Dishevel (1105119) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:52AM (#33302634)
    You need real thinking ability to get this, but I will try anyway.

    Your paper is correct. Where your logic issue comes into direct conflict with reality is your assumption that the large circle contains within it anyone capable of a real hack of the PS3. It dose not. On the other hand a high percentage of those in your quarter sized circle can. They did not hack because they had what they wanted. Now that Sony has removed it they did the work to "Fix the situation".

    Now that 50 meter circle you were talking about gets involved. They capitalize on the work done by the geeks and give to the masses what they want. "Free Beer!". Bad move for Sony.

  • by commando_jim (1136257) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @11:01AM (#33302752)

    The way I understood the current situation is the following:

    Image for a second a piece of paper, there are two overlapping circles on it. One represents the people who want to run Linux on the PS3 and are trying to hax0r it. This circle is about the size of a quarter.

    The other circle is for the people who want to pirate games and cheat AND HAVE THE TECHNICAL SOPHISTICATION TO FIGURE IT OUT THEMSELVES. The diameter of this circle is roughly the same as the Linux camp.

    Basically, you have a very small group of people, who's only motivation for hacking the platform is Sony's removal of the boot other OS function. This group of people then gives away the plans for their hack, and thus enables all the people from your 50m circle who can't hack a PS3 on their own.

    Claiming that the Linux crowd is irrelevant here, ignores the fact that one motivated person can release an exploit which will work for everyone, and I think the Linux crowd has a much higher ratio of people who might find those exploits than the crowd of wall-hack/aimbot enthusiasts.

    Cheers

  • by tibit (1762298) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @11:08AM (#33302842)

    There are no security holes in "the other OS" -- they just effed up their core design, if that. There is no theoretical reason, nor even a practical one, why running third party code on PS3 would lead to piracy or any such thing. Assuming that the platform was designed correctly for that. It's simple enough to let the hardware access encrypted discs only when trusted firmware is being run. You run linux or whatever "Other OS" you like, and you get a plain old DVD or BLU-RAY drive, that you can use to play encrypted media (but not games) just as you would had you used a DVD-ROM or BL-ROM drive on a PC. The games could be encrypted with keys that are only available to trusted firmware, the latter being distributed in encrypted form and only decryptable by the console hardware. Heck, one could prevent trusted firmware from running untrusted games, so that it'd be impossible to probe it for security vulnerabilities. Then any indie games would need to run on their own, bundled, untrusted (3rd party) firmware. Whatever libraries are needed to access basic console hardware could be publicly distributed by Sony, so that you wouldn't need to re-implement that to use the platform. That's not hard at all, IOW.

  • by X0563511 (793323) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:42PM (#33304210) Homepage Journal

    At least we can laugh at Sony now.

    Oh, believe me... we've been laughing for some time now.

  • by EnglishTim (9662) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @12:59PM (#33304472)

    In what way was their security 'security through obscurity'?

  • by unix1 (1667411) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @01:59PM (#33305348)

    There was a security hole in the other OS that they couldn't think of a way of patching without removing the core functionality, so they removed it. That makes sense from a security standpoint.

    How can you call this "security" even if you trust every word they say? E.g. in order to prevent this new USB exploit, if they simply claim they "can't fix" the software bug would it be OK for them to disable the USB ports in the next firmware update altogether? Too bad you used them to charge controllers, copy pictures from camera, etc.?

    Security should refer to the product and the features you have. If you throw away the product and/or remove its core features it's not security of that product, because it's not the same product: what if they disable the Internet browser in the name of "security," then image gallery, then media functionality, how about the bluray player too? How much of the features would they have to remove before you say - hey, I'm not going to call it "makes sense from a security standpoint" anymore because it doesn't do what it claimed it would when I bought it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:25PM (#33305692)

    Software copyright infringement does not equate to moral corruption, any more than copying a book on the photocopier does. It indicates that the person is either poor, cheap ass, or does not see the same value in a product as the publisher. Either way, copyright infringement is not the problem and preventing it doesn't magically create profits. If it did, PS3 game sales per user should have been sky high compared to XBox.

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