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Sony's Official Statement Regarding PS3 Hacking 312

Posted by Soulskill
from the as-disappointing-as-you'd-expect dept.
tekgoblin writes "Sony has stepped up its stance on anyone circumventing protection of any kind on the PlayStation 3 and released a statement addressing it. Most recently Sony had barred George Hotz (Geohot) from releasing any more information about the console whatsoever. Now, Sony has their eyes set on other users that may be trying to use pirated software or modded PlayStation consoles on their network. The statement reads: 'Notice: Unauthorized circumvention devices for the PlayStation 3 system have been recently released by hackers. These devices permit the use of unauthorized or pirated software. Use of such devices or software violates the terms of the "System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System" and the "Terms of Services and User Agreement" for the PlayStation Network/Qriocity and its Community Code of Conduct provisions. Violation of the System Software Licence Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system. In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of International Copyright Laws. Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 system terminated permanently.'"
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Sony's Official Statement Regarding PS3 Hacking

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2011 @07:47AM (#35230454)

    I just got a letter from Sony's lawyers regarding a particularly insidious piece of software I wrote for my PS3 entitled "Hello World". My Dad says that I have been very bad and will have to go to military school.

    • You should at least ask to be signed up for cyberwarfare division. With such skilled hackers in its ranks, China will be brought down to its knees in no time at all! ~

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @07:47AM (#35230460) Homepage Journal
    doubling up one's attitude regarding ANYthing, does not make that thing right, or wrong. something that is wrong, stays wrong, something that was right, stays still right.

    In the cases where that thing was wrong, all that 'doubling up' accomplishes is to show the stubbornness and bastardry of the one doubling up the stance.

    basically its doing wrong, and then insisting on being indignant.
    • Something that is wrong, stays wrong, something that was right, stays still right.

      Worst thing to read above the court of appeals door when a person walks in...

  • Firstly, just to state the obvious: I know that most people using these hacks will be running pirated games, and only the tiniest number will be using homebrew software.

    But having said that...

    Sony's statement refers to both pirated software AND "unauthorised" software. In that context, unauthorised must = homebrew. Software that you've written yourself, or the author intends you to use. Yet if you use it, Sony will cut you off from PlayStation Network, greatly reducing what you can do with the official game

    • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @08:01AM (#35230546)
      Yes, you own your PS3. No, you don't own PSN. Sony locks down PSN access because it keeps PSN secure from exploitation, which would degrade the experience of those who do not exploit on PSN.

      If Sony didn't ban cracked PS3's from PSN, and my gaming experience was affected by active exploits, you can bet I'd be screaming for George Hotz's head on a platter, your homebrew be damned.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, fuck your rights. I want my bread and circuses!

      • If Sony didn't ban cracked PS3's from PSN, and my gaming experience was affected by active exploits,

        The problem is that cheating has never required a jailbroken system. It's possible even without jailbreaks and as such banning jailbroken systems accomplishes nothing in this regard.

      • > If Sony didn't ban cracked PS3's from PSN, and my gaming experience was affected by active exploits...

        So here's a radical thought -- how about instead of curtailing the home-brew experience because of the fear of exploits and piracy, Sony actually allow modified consoles on the network, and not actually punish anyone until there's actual evidence of an exploit or piracy? This way they can respect people's rights and keep the network safe.

        Or is respecting their customers just too much work?

        • by BriggsBU (1138021) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @09:17AM (#35230938)
          There's a difference here between your "rights" as a PlayStation3 owner and the "respect" you feel Sony should give its customers. Yes, it would be wonderful to be able to create home-brew software and what-not for your device. But that is not a /right/. Your rights in this situation are clearly outlined by the ToS and EULA of PSN. Sony owns PSN and has clearly stated they do not want you using systems with pirated or home-brew software on their network. You are more than free to make your home-brew software, but you are not free to use said home-brew software on their networks.

          This is rather like a couple of kids playing. Your friend Sony has invited you over to play at his house and invited you to bring over your toy robot for a robot fight. However, when he sees the flame thrower that you grafted onto the arm of said robot, he declines to allow you to bring it into his house.

          Although flame-throwing robot toys /would/ be awesome.
          • by parcel (145162)

            Yes, it would be wonderful to be able to create home-brew software and what-not for your device. But that is not a /right/.

            It was when I bought my PS3.

      • Yes, you own your PS3. No, you don't own PSN.

        But Sony did sell us a PS3 with advertised features of both (1) access to PSN and (2) the ability to install other OSes and, on those OSes, run whatever software we want. They then forced us to choose at most one of those after they had already collected their money. Their EULA witchcraft will be tested in court to see if they had a legal right to do this, but nothing can make it fair.

        Sony locks down PSN access because it keeps PSN secure from exploitation, which would degrade the experience of those who do not exploit on PSN. If Sony didn't ban cracked PS3's from PSN, and my gaming experience was affected by active exploits, you can bet I'd be screaming for George Hotz's head on a platter, your homebrew be damned.

        Perhaps a more noble rationale than "OMG teh p1rates!", but it still doesn't excuse sabotaging bought-and-paid-for functiona

        • I'm fairly certain that, while PSN is an advertised feature when purchasing the PS3, that your continued access to that network is inextricably linked to you accepting that you must used an unmodified PS3 console to do it, and it would have been made clear to you before you first connected to the PS3 network for the first time. The fact that you own your console is moot; You can modify the hardware in your possession to your hearts content! What you can't do, however, is connect that modified hardware to So
    • by Yo Grark (465041)

      You're free to use the PS3 anyway you want. All they've said is that they'll cut you off from their network, which, you know, they own, put money into, time, resources etc.

      Hack away, just make sure it's offline.....how did Sony put it? Permanently.

      I think this is pretty straight forward legal talk and is nothing different than what Xbox360 and Microsoft does.

      There WILL be a fork and separate network setup so that you can join on someone elses resources, I'm sure of that.

      Yo Grark

    • Sony is dumb. On xbox if I want to make some software I can use xbox live indie games as an outlet for that. This effectively separates "homebrew" from piracy.
    • Part of the appeal of something like PSN, or Xbox Live, is that it is a walled garden.

      Yes, I know, here on Slashdot we're supposed to hate that stuff.

      But it gets pretty annoying to go on-line and play some multiplayer game and get your ass handed to you by some guy running an aimbot or wallhack or whatever.

      That's why so many games these days make an attempt to curtail cheating. That's why there's the whole Valve Anti-Cheat thing, and why WoW runs that malware/cheat scan before starting up.

      On the console, i

      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        But now that wall is gone. And, if you've modded your system to allow homebrew, you may very well be running cheats alongside your games. And Sony doesn't want to see that degrade the value of PSN. So they're protecting their walled garden.

        I'd say protecting their walled garden is just a side effect of Sony's war on piracy, not a primary goal, while the homebrew folks are just collateral damage.

        • I'd say protecting their walled garden is just a side effect of Sony's war on piracy, not a primary goal, while the homebrew folks are just collateral damage.

          The homebrew folks were certainly, originally, collateral damage in the war on piracy. That's why they took out the "other OS" thing in the first place. At that point the walled garden was well-protected, and the homebrew folks had their own sandbox to play in.

          But now that "other OS" is gone, there isn't a separate sandbox for the homebrew folks. You either mod your system and do your homebrew on the same platform that your games run on, or you don't do homebrew.

          And that threatens the walled garden in ad

    • by milkmage (795746)

      say what you want, but the precedent has been set.
      MS is known to ban hacked 360s - i don't remember if the console is banned, or the user is (via credit card/gamertag or whatever)
      Blizzard is known to ban WoW accounts which farm/cheat - or use software that automates the grinding.

      people may have sued, but they haven't won.

      "unauthorized software" is a broad (perhaps overbroad) term, but we're not here to talk about legal syntax. let's say, for example, you're running something that gives you some kind of adva

  • Problem solved (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon (735973) * on Thursday February 17, 2011 @07:51AM (#35230488) Journal

    Well, that's fixed that one then, hasn't it? With a statement like that, it's clear that piracy on the PS3 is good and dead.

    Or maybe not.

    Seriously, I don't see what Sony were trying to achieve here. I think anybody who mods their console (hardware or software) to run homebrew or pirated games will do so with the expectation that they will not continue to be able to use PSN features for long. All Sony have probably achieved is a minor Streisand-effect, making sure that even more people know that it's now possible to pirate PS3 games.

    That said, I do applaud the policy of banning modded consoles from the PSN (and hence from the online components of PS3 games). The big attraction of console online multiplayer for me (and I suspect for quite a few others) is that playing on a locked-down system does reduce (albeit perhaps not eliminate) the scope for cheats outside of the exploitation of game-specific glitches.

    • by Narishma (822073)

      Seriously, I don't see what Sony were trying to achieve here. I think anybody who mods their console (hardware or software) to run homebrew or pirated games will do so with the expectation that they will not continue to be able to use PSN features for long.

      Just read some of the posts above and you'll see that's not the case...

  • "All Sony boxez are belong to us"
  • Why is this news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cbope (130292) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @08:00AM (#35230542)

    I really have to say something here... I have a hard time understanding why this is such a big deal. Bear with me here...

    You are buying a product that works within a closed ecosystem, including Sony's Playstation Network. If you mod your PS3, of course Sony is not going to let you play on their playground because they have no way to determine if your box is cheating or doing other non-good things while being attached to their network. Why is this so hard to understand?

    Think about it this way... you are an IT manager for a large company. You manage thousands of desktops and hundreds of servers. What would you do if your employees started taking their laptops home and installing a modified or hacked OS, and then proceeded to bring those laptops to work and connected them to your managed network? Would you like that? Or would you ban those laptops from connecting to your network? This is precisely what Sony is doing and I don't disagree with it.

    Note that I'm not against modding and hacking, on the contrary, I am a self-taught hacker with an electronics degree and nearly 30 years of computing experience. But even I understand that if I buy product A that comes with service B, service B may be taken away or unavailable if I modify product A. Sorry, but that's the breaks when you buy into a closed ecosystem. Same thing goes with Apple's walled-garden approach.

    Now, if you want to mod your box, fine, just don't expect support or service from Sony. You don't need to use Sony's network if you don't own any games that require it. If I modded my own box, I would expect that I can no longer use any associated services. However, intentionally bricking a device is a whole other topic...

    • by Doches (761288)
      Quite. You bought a PS3, but you only subscribed to PSN. It's an entirely reasonable distinction -- who honestly mods or chips a console and expects to use it for online multiplayer?
      • by rrossman2 (844318)

        Not to mention they did this with the PS2. When you signed on with a game such as SOCOM, if a mod chip was detected, it wouldn't let you log in or boot you off the game. You'd have to put the mod chip in sleep/hidden state, and then load the game off of the disc to be able to play. I know this was true for my DSM4 chip with Toxic OS

      • The problem is that PSN isn't only used for multiplayer. It is used for the browser and netflix and I imagine any online bluray features

        • I've used the browser and online Blu-ray features numerous times without ever being prompted to log in to PSN. I just tested the browser right now to see if anything has changed and it works fine. There is a news ticker at the bottom though that had a link to the circumvention statement as the first item displayed.

          I've never used Netflix, so I can't comment on that. It appears that Vudu requires a PSN connection though as I just tried launching that.

          • So I am 1 for 2 :)

            I assumed the browser wouldn't work since netflix didn't. I guess that means that I need to complain to netflix, then.

            Thanks for the test.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Boltronics (180064)

      Wait until PS3 games require online activation, which won't work if your PS3 is banned from the PSN. Will you see the big deal then?

      • by amaiman (103647)
        Mod parent up...This is where we're heading. Also, what about when a new Bluray requires a "firmware upgrade" before it will play? How about content that you paid for on PSN? If you can detect pirated games, sure, go ahead and ban people from playing the pirated game. You can't just go and block out their entire console from the whole network, though, especially if they've paid for content from it.
        • by LocalH (28506)

          If you can detect pirated games, sure, go ahead and ban people from playing the pirated game.

          One snag - it is impossible to differentiate between legal backup and illegal warez. Both would be in the form of an ISO (or other disc image) and are indistinguishable. Now what do you say to the person who has a huge game collection and all his discs backed up legitimately?

          • by amaiman (103647)

            One snag - it is impossible to differentiate between legal backup and illegal warez. Both would be in the form of an ISO (or other disc image) and are indistinguishable. Now what do you say to the person who has a huge game collection and all his discs backed up legitimately?

            Yep...that's why I said "if you can detect pirated games". The burden is on Sony to figure out how to do that, without punishing their customers or taking away access to legitimately purchased hardware/software (including the legally allowed backup copy)

    • by Ben4jammin (1233084) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @09:27AM (#35230998)
      I think you are glossing over one very important aspect: This is not just about Sony controlling the online experience, which I agree with. This is about a "bait and switch" with the core functionality of hardware that I bought. Mainly, the OtherOS feature and backwards support for PS2 games. So I agree with Sony cutting down on cheating to preserve the experience of non-cheaters with online play. I DO NOT agree with functionality that I paid for being taken away for no good reason other than they were tired of supporting it.

      I haven't done ANY modding to my PS3, yet it is still a shell of its former self with the aforementioned features now gone. I played by their rules and got screwed anyway. So I have NO sympathy whatsoever for them. DIAF Sony.

      And your analogy is a little weak in that when you are issued a COMPANY laptop, you aren't out any money and of course you should only do things related to your job description with it. The paradigm changes once it is hardware that YOU pay for.
      • by HonIsCool (720634)
        Wait a minute, wait a minute. Sony has removed PS2 compatibility in the new firmwares? Really?
  • I do not see any big problem with what Sony is doing. If your PS3 is modded, of course you should not be allowed onto their network, because that would open the door for all kinds of cheat software, which would destroy the fun for all the legit players trying to enjoy competitive games there. You still can play offline (as long as the game does not use online verification, which newer games very well might do) and you can still use your "homebrew" software. The whole thing would only be problematic if Sony

  • OK, I've had enough (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @08:27AM (#35230662) Homepage

    Everytime an article about hacking on the PS3 turns up on Slashdot, we get a bunch of idiots writing "Fuck you, Sony".

    For the report, I don't have a problem with homebrew or hacking. I run Rockbox on my iRiver.

    I do however have a problem with piracy and online cheating.

    If you're hacking the console just so you can play the latest games without paying for them or so you can cheat online in Sony's PSN, then you deserve to have your console banned.

    • by Doches (761288) <DochesNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday February 17, 2011 @08:30AM (#35230684)
      Take your reason elsewhere, we're trying to spread some FUD here!
    • Wanting to play pirate games is not the only reason to say "Fuck you, Sony".

      As a freedom and free software enthusiast, the thing that bothers me to no end about Sony, and all consoles for that matter, is how their games are becoming thiner and thiner in content, expecting more and more content to be "purchased" --which now means something similar to renting-- online.

      People every year own less and less what they pay for and more remains in the control of the corporation. It has come to the point where even f

  • The problem is, the master key signs software, so the console things its legit. It uses the same key that is on official products. So, how will Sony know if someone is running a legit game, or one that was homebrewed and then signed? The answer - they can't. So as far as I am concerned, this statement is just scare tactics that Sony can't enforce.

    Not that I really care. I use my PS3 for Blu-Rays, Netflix, and the ocassional old PSX or PS2 game I have in my collection. I have my PS3 to be a media console, no

    • by rrossman2 (844318)

      As I said in another post above, the PS2 did this as well. If you had a DSM3/4 mod chip installed, even if you inserted the Socom disc and then went to play online, the game or something would check the system and if the mod chip was enabled you couldn't sign in, it would just boot you off. You had to put the mod chip in sleep/hidden mode (which basically turned it off) to play the online games.

      No reason the system couldn't do a checksum of the game or apps running or some other test to see if it was runnin

    • They certainly can enforce it...

      In an update they can provide a the exact signatures of all known official certificates issued with the old key - if the specific signature of the application you are loading is on that list, you are allowed to play. If its not, but it can be verified using the original master signing key, then you have a suspect application - since all official games go through Sony, its not going to be difficult for them to produce this list.

      Of course, you can refuse to upgrade your
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @08:41AM (#35230726) Homepage

    We never thought to build shore defences because our Scienticians assured Us that if We stood on the shoreline and shouted "HALT!" loudly enough, the tide would never come in.

    Effective immediately, Our new Oceanic Evition policy is to execute any of Our subjects caught with damp feet. We trust that this shall bring an end to this sordid defiance of Our divine authority.

  • Actually, it doesn't even take a word, it just takes a gesture, modeled here [themiddlefinger.com] by William Shatner.

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @09:46AM (#35231150) Journal

    If the PSN isn't required for PS3, then they can ban you from it. But, why can't there be a replacement network? Up until recently, it was not technically possible to create unauthorized software (software subject to their licensing & TOS restrictions) however it is now.

    Since you "own" your console, you should be able to connect it to any network. I would assert that Sony by way of only allowing only one network (PSN) is given an unfair monopoly and is engaging in anti-competitive business practices. (Same for for XBLN) Even if you agree to the ToS, the ToS is only binding on the first owner of the console (First Sale doctrine) there is no provision for Sony to continue the ToS and License agreements past the shrink-wrap seal.

    Clearly, you have the right to network the unit you own and have the right to connect it to networks of your choosing. I call for Sony to publish specifications which would allow alternate, private or open networks to be functionally equivalent to the PSN, as well as the PS Store. If Sony is going to force the issue, we'll make sure the stakes get really high.

    This all started when they took Linux away anyway. That in itself has to be bait and switch.

  • So they DO have the right to ban NON-PSx consoles from the network. And a PSx running NON-SONY software isn't a PSx in their eyes, which I would agree with. HOWEVER, if I want to buy a PSx and put my own software on it for my own use (Hey, maybe I can buy a PSx cheaper than a PC with a BD drive) I should be able to do so. Just so long as I understand I no longer have a PSx system anymore and I'm not welcome on the PSN with it. Now if THAT's ALL that Sony is saying, fine. But the camels nose gets no furt

  • So, if I decide to run Linux on my PS3 (which used to be allowed) so that I can run distributed computing projects using the powerful Cell processor that I paid for when I bought the console, then I'll be permanently banned from the PSN. How do I receive my cash refund for everything that I ever purchased through PSN that I would then no longer be able to access? (Not that I've bought anything since they took away Other OS, but I had bought a few downloadable games and add-ons prior to that)
  • So... is this like most PC developers where they ban your system from online multiplayer or is this like the Xbox where they ban you from the service? Banning from multiplayer is not a big deal, but banning completely from all online activities is an incredibly stupid thing to do -- one that encourages piracy. Millions have banned Xbox 360s simply because they've flashed their drive, and there are a number of Xbox Live Arcade games that they would gladly have purchased. Strangely, Microsoft felt it prudent

  • by gmarsh (839707) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @10:15AM (#35231414)

    I'm 100% in favor of detecting and banning hacked consoles from PSN. It's Sony's network and they have the fundamental right anyway, and secondly, if it keeps cheaters/hacks/aimbots/etc off the PSN, I'm 110% in favor of that.

    And I'll just buy another PS3. It will remain unmodified, and I'll use that for playing games online. And my current PS3 will remain as my "hacker's delight" that runs homebrew. If Sony detects that it's modified and bans it from the PSN, that's fine.

    As for everyone else, if they want a PS3 to hack I'm sure it won't take long before Sony starts detecting modified PS3s and banning them from PSN, and $100 PS3s start appearing on Kijiji/Craigslist next to the Xbox360's that are banned from XBL.

    That being said, I wish Sony was more accepting of the hacker community, perhaps even facilitating it somewhat. I actually thing it'd be awesome if Sony added a feature to the PS3 where you could 100% unlock the console hardware, banning the console from PSN in the process. It'd be a lot better, and probably even cheaper for them in the long run, than continuing their current bullshit of legally shafting people like Geohot. Hey, if people want to figure out how to program your game system, you should be helping them!

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