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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 dave562 (969951) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:10AM (#33301120) Journal

    The whole reason I bought a PS3 was because it was a closed platform, and because it was a closed platform, it was harder to hack the games. I like playing FPS games and they are absolutely ruined as soon as you have to deal with wallhacks and aimbots. Will this new hack open the door to programs like that?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by hedwards (940851)
      Sony over did it, people wouldn't have been anywhere near as interested in cracking it if they hadn't vastly overstepped there rights. I can understand locking down multiplayer games, but locking down single player games so that you can't do those homebrew was just asinine. And there's no reason why they had to do it, I'm sure they could've just kept homebrew off certain servers. I probably wouldn't have bought mine had I realized that they'd taken out so many of the PS3 components to make money without pro
    • 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.

      • It's in this area that the ps3 is more open. UT3 for ps3 supports mods. Portal 2 will talk to steam. It's only on the xbox where you see absolute control freak nightmares go on.

    • Depends how well the games are coded. PC games tend to plan for cheaters from the beginning since it's an open platform. Consoles might not because the closed nature means less hackers, but they really should... ports of PC games should in theory work better (but I hear TF2 doesn't hold up that well on the 360).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mlts (1038732) *

      This is the exact reason that I refused to buy a PS3. When the "Other OS" option was not just removed from the Slims, but removed from existing machines as a mandatory upgrade, that made the platform a no-go.

      You don't need a closed platform to deal with wallhackers and aimbots. Steam runs on a ton of PCs, and VAC catches and bans forever a crapload of people daily who attempt to try this stuff. Similar with WoW. Blizzard's Warden has evolved to a point where only the gold farmers who have hundreds of th

      • by Mad-Mage1 (235582)

        Since they are offshore, PCI-DSS is not an issue, nor if there is ever a link found, there would be any criminal penalties applied.

        PCI regulations are not a national framework. Just because they are offshore doesn't mean they do not have to "theoretically" comply. Now, if they don't care about breaking the law and/or regulatory frameworks, that is a different story.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mlts (1038732) *

          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.

      • removed from existing machines as a mandatory upgrade, that made the platform a no-go.

        It wasn't mandatory. It was definitely coerced, but owners did have a choice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Who on earth bothers to hack a console FPS? It's like using performance-enhancing drugs at a child's sports day.
    • by guruevi (827432)

      Yes, Security through Obscurity hasn't been a good strategy for decades now. As the poster points out, this wouldn't have happened if they wouldn't have killed the OS boot option - the only reason these machines get hacked is because people want to run other stuff on there as well (whether or not that's a good idea). The bootleggers and modchip makers only take what's readily available on the market and commercialize it - the margins are razor thin and risks vs. reward are high, they don't have the money to

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        That's a pretty big assumption. Firstly the dongle thing is clearly intended for piracy, it comes complete with "backup functionality", a GUI for that etc. I don't see any mention of booting Linux anywhere. Secondly whatever strategy Sony used, it clearly worked - PS3 is more than half way through its probably lifetime and has never been usefully hacked before. Time will tell if they can figure out how it was done and renew the protection - or not.
        • by Pikoro (844299)
          Hey there , you might want to note that the backup option works for people who want to .. say... back up their current games? It's not an ISO loader, it will allow you to copy games to the hard drive and run them. If you have the disc, you most likely own it. Worst case, you borrowed it from a friend which puts you back on par with a guy who borrows a DVD from his friend an watches it on his player in his house instead of yours.
        • by X.25 (255792)

          That's a pretty big assumption. Firstly the dongle thing is clearly intended for piracy, it comes complete with "backup functionality", a GUI for that etc. I don't see any mention of booting Linux anywhere. Secondly whatever strategy Sony used, it clearly worked - PS3 is more than half way through its probably lifetime and has never been usefully hacked before. Time will tell if they can figure out how it was done and renew the protection - or not.

          Or, PS3 is more than half way through its lifetime, and lots of people never bought it because they couldn't play backed up games. That's one of the reasons I never bought it.

          Why, you ask? Well, because there is no way I'd be buying any games, ever again, based on some 'reviews'. Or trailers. Ever again. And I can't test the games in the store where I am buying PS3 (no idea how it works in the USA, though).

          Now I take 'pirated' version, try it, and if I like it - I buy it.

          Meanwhile, producers of shit games c

      • by cgenman (325138) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @11:01AM (#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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tibit (1762298)

          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 e

        • by unix1 (1667411) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @02:59PM (#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 cgenman (325138)

      I'm not convinced all of those people are wallhacking and aimbotting. I've seen some ridiculous playing in-person... People able to see your rate of speed, where you're likely to go, and able to lob a grenade over a wall into your head. There have definitely been people that I would have sworn were botting, but in fact were just wasting their lives.

      I feel like FPS games get ruined once people get good enough to just dominate the competition. That's harder to do on consoles due to aiming with the sticks a

    • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @11:07AM (#33302018) Journal

      I like playing FPS games and they are absolutely ruined as soon as you have to deal with.. gamepads.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
        +1

        I don't care how great you think you are at CoD:MW2 on the XBox360; I will destroy you with a keyboard and mouse.

        The only way I can equate the experience between going from K&M input in a PC to gamepad on a console is to unplug the mouse and use the arrow keys for X and Y axis control. It's just painful.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tlhIngan (30335)

      The whole reason I bought a PS3 was because it was a closed platform, and because it was a closed platform, it was harder to hack the games. I like playing FPS games and they are absolutely ruined as soon as you have to deal with wallhacks and aimbots. Will this new hack open the door to programs like that?

      Depends what was defeated. For example, on the Xbox360, you can pirate games with a hacked DVD drive, but you canot mod the games because you can't run unsigned code in the main OS. You can hack your Xbox

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ephemeriis (315124)

      The whole reason I bought a PS3 was because it was a closed platform, and because it was a closed platform, it was harder to hack the games. I like playing FPS games and they are absolutely ruined as soon as you have to deal with wallhacks and aimbots. Will this new hack open the door to programs like that?

      Actually, being a closed platform doesn't have a whole lot to do with running wallhacks and aimbots.

      Normally your server has some kind of basic validation to make sure the software you're running is the software it expects. This is why many games require you to have the latest patch before joining a server. You don't generally modify the executable itself to create a wallhack or aimbot. Normally that's done with a second utility running simultaneously - a mod or an add-on the the game, basically.

      Typicall

  • by TrisexualPuppy (976893) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:13AM (#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.
    • by Mad Leper (670146) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:24AM (#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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Khyber (864651)

        "even the great Geohot ripped off other people's work and failed to make a dent"

        FTFY. Trace over-current spiking was my idea.

        I'm betting the USB stick does the same thing but with some other automated software, because the data line on the USB ports runs down that same trace. That trace is the direct vulnerability past the hypervisor.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Care to explain how this works? Similar to glitching in DTV cards?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Khyber (864651)

            VERY similar. I've done the same thing to my TomTom so I could drop in map updates since my particular model doesn't work with the mapshare community.

            This is a fallback from the PS3 debug systems, which required a hardware key. The data trace has a nearly direct pathway to the hypervisor, thus making it the most vulnerable route to attack.

            • Re:Tag parent fail (Score:3, Interesting)

              by bushing (20804)

              Care to explain what PCB traces are shared between D+/D- on the USB and the RAM? And what this has to do with your TomTom?

              You're also confusing the service mode jig used in Sony repair centers on retail consoles with debug consoles used for development. The two are unrelated.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Khyber (864651)

                The over-current trick has been used in MANY systems to bypass hardware restrictions by forcing it into a failure mode for repair. From Tom-Tom devices, to the original XBox console, now it's been used on the PS3.

                Here's your requested information. I gave you more than you needed so you could grab a PS3 for yourself, pop out the mobo, flip it over, and start hacking for yourself so maybe you can help us figure out WTF these other UNKs are.

                http://www.interfacebus.com/ps3-connector-pinouts.html [interfacebus.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:15AM (#33301182)

    Sony will disable all USB ports on the PS3 in the next firmware update.

  • Yeah, right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver (213637)

    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 RichiH (749257)

      The point he was making is that a lot of hackers are not crackers. If there is no challenge to running Linux on something, why bother running it? If there _is_ a challenge, more people will be interested. Many of those with engineering backgrounds.

      PS: I run Linux on my systems. The "why bother" refers to the fact that there is no "gain" by simply booting Linux on something that supports it, anyway.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sancho (17056) *

      False dichotomy. Try again.

  • How? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:29AM (#33301428)
    Any idea what the nature of this exploit is?

    I thought that pretty much everyone who's looked at the PS3 security has found it to be pretty ironclad. The hypervisor was supposed to be obscenely difficult to get around, even if you did find an exploit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by lordgun (852080)
      As seen in the psx-scene forums, it seems to turn the PS3 into a debug-mode.
      • by abigsmurf (919188)
        If that's true that sucks. Pretty much ensures that all debug modes in future consoles will limit functionality to "wipe" and "only install one specific signed firmware" if they're included at all. Every console sent to be repaired will have their save games erased.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Every console sent to be repaired will have their save games erased.

          That is already the case and always has been. Sony do not repair the units, they just send you a refurbished unit with no effort to salvage your data. Herein lies a sticky issue. Those of us with the good original fat models are in for problems when they fail. Sony have run out of them and will send a later model. Sounds good? Not when you consider the original machines had back compatibility, SACD support, more card slots etc, that the new

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:41AM (#33301646)
    • A simple dongle that puts your PS3 into debug mode and allows you to play games off an external hard drive.
    • Costs very little
    • Doesn't void your warranty
    • Forum link is down
    • Advert in video for where to buy
    • Camera stays mostly on the TV, so we can't see if any other PS3s or equipment is involved...
    • Whilst others have struggled to hack the PS3, these guys have come out of nowhere with a full blown, working solution... one that you can immediately purchase!
  • They're even bigger control freaks than Apple (this is the studio that gave us the rootkit fiasco [wikipedia.org], after all). I suspect this will set off an arms race, with Sony going to some pretty crazy limits to stop hacks. Of course, they did start this arms race themselves by removing the "Other OS" option (and even earlier by using the hypervisor to gimp the PS3). They may come to really regret that decision.
  • That is a debug unit (Score:5, Informative)

    by GrugVoth (822168) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:47AM (#33301722)
    I think most of you are missing the fact that this is running on a debug unit which already has the capability to run unsigned code and code off of hard drives with no restrictions. The USB dongle has nothing to do with that, until this can be show running on a non-debug unit this is very bogus.
    • by besalope (1186101)
      The "Install Packages" option at the top of XBM could also mean it's just running a 'demo' firmware, not necessarily a true Dev/Debug console. (note, not 100% sure whether Demos can run unsigned code).
  • $170 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bhunachchicken (834243) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @10:48AM (#33301738) Homepage

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

  • What an amazing technical accomplishment. I can't help but be amazed at the skills of the hardware engineers and software developers who made this accomplishment possible.

    SONY managed to build a platform that resisted being cracked for almost FOUR YEARS. AMAZING! Despite the fact that every ps3 game comes on a blu-ray disc that lots of hardware can read, and the fact that a ps3 must have in hardware all of the decryption keys in order to play a game, the platform has withstood 4 years of determined assau

  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @11:06AM (#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.

  • Debug Console (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2010 @11:17AM (#33302174)

    This was done on a Debug Console. If you look at 0:44 on the video, you can see the "Install Packages..." option at the top of the list in the XMB. ...so in other words, nothing unusual, folks. This type of thing could always be done on a Debug Console...

  • by besalope (1186101) on Thursday August 19, 2010 @11:27AM (#33302320)
    Since it's not readily on psx-scene's main page and forums are hammered.. it works on firmware v3.41 :) and yes "pre-orders" appear to be $170 :(

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