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Sony Games

Geohot Denies Involvement In PSN Hack Attack 136

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-what-i'd-say-too dept.
Stoobalou writes "Soon-to-be-celebrity hacker and thorn in Sony's side George 'Geohot' Hotz has denied any involvement in the ongoing breach at the PlayStation Network. The 21-year-old hacker — who is best known for creating the first software-based hack for the iPhone, and getting hypervisor access and exposing the root key to the PlayStation 3 — has made it clear that he had nothing to do with filleting Sony's online gaming servers, saying 'I'm not crazy.'"
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Geohot Denies Involvement In PSN Hack Attack

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  • by Random2 (1412773) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:49AM (#35963810) Journal

    Why would he be involved? Holtz is becoming a useless keyword to generate 'news'.

    Stop pulling these stories off the hose just because there's nothing else interesting.

    • I also unequivocally deny being involved in this act.

      Just 6,775,235,698 more to check before we can know who really was involved.
    • mod parent up.

      This is mudslinging, there are no rational reasons to believe he would be involved.
      Reporters asking thoughtless questions is hardly news, nothing to see here.
    • by Maestro4k (707634)

      Why would he be involved? Holtz is becoming a useless keyword to generate 'news'.

      Stop pulling these stories off the hose just because there's nothing else interesting.

      Lots of people have been blaming this on Hotz, either directly or indirectly. I've seen numerous people commenting to that effect on the stories Ars Technica has posted about the PSN being down. So I don't blame him for publicly stating he's not involved, and I don't blame /. for posting it. He deserves to clear his name.

    • Why would he be involved? Holtz is becoming a useless keyword to generate 'news'.

      Stop pulling these stories off the hose just because there's nothing else interesting.

      Some people who love to blame others are claiming that Hotz was somehow behind all this. Obviously it's total bull, but you know how some people are.

      As for the Slashdot article: It's just plain and simple a means of getting attention, but I really, really feel ashamed for anyone here who somehow thought Hotz was in any way involved. Anyone with half a brain cell should know better.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:51AM (#35963858) Homepage Journal
    And you will create hundreds of new Geohots.

    such is the rule of internet underground since days of old. the worst anyone can do, is to create conditions for a crusade against themselves in regard to morals. after that, it doesnt matter who or what you are - they will hack you. and the ones doing the hacking wont be small fish.

    the bigger the bastardry, the greater honors those who hack them gains in the internet underworld.

    but who am i telling these to - anyone who had had participated in anything in the early stages of internet, knows these.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I can hardly wait to see the laws that Sony buys to 'fix' their inability to deal with this attack.

      • by unity100 (970058)
        pointless. endless such laws have been bought, widespread spying and warrantless wiretapping was instituted, 'anti terror' law bullshit was created to justify anything, yet, these hacks still happen.
      • by scubamage (727538)
        Laws only deter acts by threat of punishment. They don't stop them. For example, the threat of capital punishment doesn't seem to have slowed the number of murders.
        • by nschubach (922175)

          It's only illegal if you get caught...

          You'll need cameras everywhere, cameras can be obscured/destroyed...

          The only way they'll catch you is to LoJack everyone at birth so they can be identified as being at the scene of the crime

          LoJack could be removed...

          "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Ben Franklin

          Best course of action is to learn to defend yourself and take the appropriate action. (both Meat crimes and Cyber crimes...) /end

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Violent crimes, in the US at least, are at all time lows.

      • by steelfood (895457) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @02:38PM (#35966360)

        There already are laws for breaking and entering into other people's computer systems. They're already ridiculous.

        The problem is, these people probably aren't from the United States, and hence not subject to the laws of the United States. The internet transcends national boundaries. That means whatever it might be, the laws of any one country cannot apply to the whole of the internet. And that means there'll always be holes that people with an agenda can take advantage of.

        So while places like Australia or China or the U.K. can enforce their own set of internet usage rules among their own citizens, they cannot do the same on citizens of other countries. The most they can do is cut those countries off from their own networks, but that'd require all the backbone ISPs servicing the country to cooperate (e.g. the Great Firewall). And there are still ways around it.

        That's the beauty of the internet. And that's the major failing of people who've been trying to turn the internet "respectable." It's not and never will fully be, because the definition of legal ceases to hold meaning once you cross national borders. Doing business on the internet is dangerous, and acting douchy the way Sony's been doing is just asking to be noticed by everybody (Sony's douchbaggery is a special kind of stupid--instead of being douchy to just their customers in countries where they have legal recourse like what Amazon might do when it files an obvious patent, they did it to all of their users worldwide irrespective of local laws).

        If this was the product of some Eastern European hit, Sony can do nothing short of paying those countries' governments off. But that might be more costly and less effective than if they were to shut down PSN entirely.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Suppress one Geohot, and you will create hundreds of new Geohots.

      I love how your implication is that there is this invisible almighty righteous army of hundreds of people just sitting around, entirely idle, with the experience to do encryption hardware hacking, the time and patience to do it (i.e. no job and/or social life), the desire to do it (as opposed to, I don't know, PLAYING FUCKING GAMES ON THE DAMN GAME CONSOLE, or just picking a console whose parent company DOESN'T treat their userbase quite so much as criminals, or perhaps even developing for a platform withou

      • I love how your implication is that there is this invisible almighty righteous army of hundreds of people just sitting around, entirely idle, with the experience to do encryption hardware hacking, the time and patience to do it (i.e. no job and/or social life), the desire to do it (as opposed to, I don't know, PLAYING FUCKING GAMES ON THE DAMN GAME CONSOLE

        your description is actually quite correct. there is that invisible almighty righteous army of really hundreds of people, doing all those kinds of things, going about around the internet, with experience much more bigger than encrption hardware hacking, the time, and the patience and the will and drive to do it. and they DO play games on consoles and pc, and do more things. they dont even understand what you understand from 'social life' either.

        that is the deep underground of the internet, and it is not

        • by Anonymous Coward

          that is the deep underground of the internet, and it is not even what you can see in demonstrations of chaos computer club, or other high level scenes. that is the level of underground of the internet that is so 'down and under' and to the extreme that, it is at a level that can make the hardliner government of israel change its mind about not letting a hacker convention take place in israel, just with a correspondence from one of them which could be summarized into a meaning like 'dont'.

          It is literally im

          • by unity100 (970058)
            firstly, there is nothing romantic about it. its as rebellious, chaotic and dirty as it can be. second, what i have described in regard to convention, has happened. its your ignorance if you dont know it. you arent following events around the world enough.
      • patience to do it (i.e. no job and/or social life)

        You can have a job and a social life and still be able to find the time to hack the console if you spend your time wisely.

        desire to do it (as opposed to, I don't know, PLAYING FUCKING GAMES ON THE DAMN GAME CONSOLE

        Some people have different hobbies. Perhaps they like hacking more than playing the games (or they're tired of the games right now)?

    • by ryanov (193048)

      Incidentally, he gets his nickname from the same place I got mine -- we apparently went to the same HS and that's the way usernames are assigned there (bergen.org). Funny how many of us still use them for one thing or another.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      it seems that psn was so ridiculously done that hacking was inevitability, if not for anything else than to expose some engineers for being pretty bad engineers(and execs watching over them).

      too bad bonuses don't burn after they're given even if the work turns out as incompetent and borderline fraud on the promises department. they kind of fucked up entire sony online game presence.

  • ...when I found out he decided to give up on fighting Sony. He was in the perfect position to score one for "good" but he folded like everyone else in that position. Regardless if he is donating the $ to EFF or whatever, that money I donated was to fight Sony specifically. If I wanted to donate to someone else I would have done that. Even if he was involved in this, I doubt anyone really cares what he does anymore.
    • WTF? I donated to that too, thought it was still ongoing. I was pretty pissed off with him for starting to hack the PS3 (getting other OS removed in the process) then dropping it. When I saw he was going to fight, I had more respect for him and donated. Seems I was right to just think of him as a douche..

    • Do you honestly think he could win ANY court cases when dealing with a billion dollar company like Sony? They have lawyers on retainer so it costs them the same either way. You'd fold up too given the decision. If you want to fight Sony so bad man up and file a lawsuit yourself. His accomplishment is pretty amazing considering the money Sony can throw at locking you out.

      • by scubamage (727538)
        Actually, if you read through the legal proceedings, he was on very solid footing to do just that. I'm assuming Sony made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
        • by Rakarra (112805)

          Actually, if you read through the legal proceedings, he was on very solid footing to do just that

          Footing doesn't actually matter if you don't have the resources to fight the case. Defending a case like this against a plaintiff like Sony is extremely expensive, regardless of how in the right you are.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        especially after this cockup by sony, yeah, he could have won(gotten away with it without admitting wrong doing).

        billion dollars doesn't buy you everything and it would have still been a waste of billion dollars and their legal teams got something much bigger to worry and to go after now, just suing him was probably lobbied by the legal teams just to get some work(and by some exec who thought he could do disaster control).

        but going all white hat, meh. info is info, like the black powder recipes were just in

  • "Anyone who thinks I was involved in any way with this, I'm not crazy, and would prefer to not have the FBI knocking on my door. Running homebrew and exploring security on your devices is cool, hacking into someone else's server and stealing databases of user info is not cool. You make the hacking community look bad, even if it is aimed at douches like Sony."

    Here's the other half that doesn't usually get picked up - people are generally apathetic to this whole situation. Many people don't even know who Geohot is, and most likely don't care either. The ones who are most vocal about the network being offline are the ones who are online 24/7 anyways. Although i'm addressing this to a crowd that generally basement dwells, people generally have lives and most won't even notice. I have hundred and hundreds of "friends" on Facebook, some who I know are heavily into technology and console gaming, and practically nothing has been mentioned except for what i'm seeing posted on /. and similar technology related blogs and news aggregators.

    tldr: Geohot is taking advantage by not taking advantage, and generally no one really cares outside of the circle.
    • by luther349 (645380)
      well there isnt that many ps3 gamers anyways. being hacked wide open and now the week long psn crash has probly finished this console from ever being anything but a after thought. any of the hardcore gamers have probly sold them off for 360 systems and now relised that 50$ a year is well worth it heh.
      • by Khyber (864651)

        "well there isnt that many ps3 gamers anyways"

        77 million isn't many? What bizarro world did you come from?

      • by Mad Leper (670146)

        I'm actually suprised people are still supporting a Video Game console with a shockingly (almost criminal) failure rate, massive levels of piracy & online cheating, forced payment to play online and no freedom to use your own peripherals or storage devices.

        What sort of person puts up with that?

        • by cHALiTO (101461)

          Persons who buy the new versions that don't explode, work quite sliently, flash them to play pirated games (sorry, you meant that as a downside??), and use their own DX-bought hard drives on it, for half the price of a ps3.

          Oh, and don't care about online gaming :)

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          no freedom to use your own peripherals or storage devices.

          Funny, my iPod (iPod! From the competitor!) works fine.

          And I guess thumbdrives aren't storage devices, either [xbox.com]

        • by exomondo (1725132)

          I'm actually suprised people are still supporting a Video Game console with a shockingly (almost criminal) failure rate

          That's old news, pre-XBox S. Anyway they extended warranty to 3 years to cover the defect on the old xbox.

          massive levels of piracy & online cheating

          what's this massive level of online cheating?

          no freedom to use your own peripherals or storage devices.

          my own usb sticks, ipod, FAT32-formatted usb hard drives, etc... work fine, just as they do on my ps3.

        • massive levels of piracy

          Honestly, if true (it's almost impossible to accurately determine the amount of 'pirates'), why would the average person even care about this enough to stop supporting the console because of it?

      • by Jaysyn (203771)

        An anecdote for your statement. My step-brother recently bought a PS3 & replaced most of his 360 games because his recently out of warranty 360 decided to die exactly one day after he upgraded the (non-custom) firmware on it for the very first time. I tried to get him to just upgrade his PC into a gaming rig instead, but he wouldn't have it.

        I hate Sony as much as anyone else on /., but you just make yourself look like an idiot saying things like that.

    • by scubamage (727538)
      I disagree with his statement. Stealing databases with user info is only "not cool" if you do something with them. Having a bunch of 1's and 0's stored in a lock box doesn't hurt anyone. It still would make life awfully fun for Sony. Sadly I doubt this will be the outcome in this particular case.
      • Stealing info from a business DOES cost them money, no matter what you do with it. It cost alot of money to contact 100,000 people that their information was stolen as well as investigating the hack. More generally, in some industries a breach in security like this can result in mandatory credit monitoring paid for by the company.

        in short breaches do cost money, even if no one gets their identity stolen.

        btw, Sony is a crappy company. any chance of me buying from them went out the door a long time a
      • by exomondo (1725132)

        I disagree with his statement. Stealing databases with user info is only "not cool" if you do something with them. Having a bunch of 1's and 0's stored in a lock box doesn't hurt anyone.

        Sony certainly seems to be suffering from it, and all the people who's info was stolen have likely done the smart thing and cancelled their credit cards.

    • by StikyPad (445176)

      People complain about lots of dumb things on Facebook, but usually not things that will make them look like non-conforming members of their social groups. In other words, nobody's going to label themselves as a basement dweller by getting vocal about the PSN on Facebook.

  • Let's start a pool and take bets on who the perpetrator is. I'll take Iran (just because it's a longshot) and the US government (just for the conspiracy factor).

    • My vote is on Sony!!!

                They made some system update with poor/broken security measures and then hit the big red OMGWTFBBQ button to kill the PSN. Why else would it be a world wide problem not localized to region?

    • by denn1s (1517951)
      My bet would be on one of the botnets, you need a hell of processing power to take down and hack a sony server wich was prepared to serve 77 million users. Besides the FBI has recently been bulling them...
    • by easyTree (1042254)

      Let's start a pool and take bets on who the perpetrator is. I'll take Iran (just because it's a longshot) and the US government (just for the conspiracy factor).

      OK. I'll take Sony themselves. What better way to say "this nicely demonstrates the extent to which the environment is dangerous and how we made the right choice in freaking-out and pulling OtherOS." Eclipse a self-imposed PR-fuckup with one that's been 'externally'-imposed.

      FWIW: I also took the US government in the similar pool "who blew up the WTC

  • In regards to the perpetrator of the PSN attack.

    1. The Master Control Program, who does he calculate he is??!
    2. Sorry I put the new X-Files Collector edition BluRay in and it went crazy.
    3. I for one welcome our new PSN overlords.
    4. Still think Skynet isn't real??
    5. The W.O.P.R. was running another simulation.

  • As a parting shot, Hotz has some advice for the PSN hacker, who is currently being pursued by both Sony and law enforcement agencies: "To the perpetrator, two things. You are clearly talented and will have plenty of money (or a jail sentence and bankruptcy) coming to you in the future. Don't be a dick and sell people's information."

    George Hotz was suspended and possibly expelled for "hacking" the student IDs, which were also used as access cards to unlock rooms on campus. I'm not saying he broke into PSN,

    • by Daetrin (576516)
      I am admittedly very hazy on the whole hacker terminology thing, but isn't the difference between a white hat and a black hat not what they hack, but what they do with the results? So did Geohot actually _do_ anything nasty with the hacked student IDs? Or did he get in trouble just for hacking them?

      It's even remotely possible that the person(s) who hacked PSN are white hat(s), if they don't actually release the stolen data and just intend to use the event to show how broken Sony's infrastructure is. Geoho
      • I am admittedly very hazy on the whole hacker terminology thing, but isn't the difference between a white hat and a black hat not what they hack, but what they do with the results? So did Geohot actually _do_ anything nasty with the hacked student IDs?

        He was selling hacked IDs so people could break into locked rooms.

      • by russotto (537200)

        I am admittedly very hazy on the whole hacker terminology thing, but isn't the difference between a white hat and a black hat not what they hack, but what they do with the results?

        No. White hats are self-styled, and black hats are anyone who would do something the white hats say they wouldn't do.

        Any attempts to write a better definition than that always gets bogged down. For instance, some of the more sanctimonious white hats claim white hats always follow the law... but the laws are so bad that it's pret

        • or to put it another way a true Black Hat or a true White hat does not exist as such.
          now you figure that a grey Hat lighter than FFAFAF (aka html 4.01 "snow") would be considered a White Hat and a grey hat darker than 2F4F4F (aka html 4.01 "darkslategrey") would be considered a Black Hat.

          most corporate hacker types use a good amount of "bleach" on their hats to make them look "white".

    • by ryanov (193048)

      Where did this allegedly happen?

  • The headlines are working fast to turn him into the main suspect. A couple of hours ago it was like 'geohot says: wouldn't dare to do that', now it says 'geohot denies' as if he already was a suspect, tomorrow he will be in jail based on evidence gathered by fox news.

  • I mean honestly, it's as relevant. Who the hell would have even though it?

    Other than a Fox news reporter who equates a hardware hacker with a script kiddie or criminal cracker.

    Is he going to deny involvement in my PS3 controller's batteries failing?

    • by Megane (129182)
      I'm more interested in Geohot denying being behind last month's tsunami in Japan. Yeah, sure, you can act all innocent, but we know better.
    • by Dutch Gun (899105)

      Because George Bush wasn't involved in some well-publicized PS3 hacking recently, maybe? Seriously, you can't comprehend why people who DON'T frequent forums like slashdot could possibly think he might have been involved?

    • by Mad Leper (670146)

      Very true, same with the PS3 keys and in fact just about every hack this idiot has laid claim to.

      Geohot is a braggart, a thief of other hackers work and a shameless self-promoter

  • Who thought "Geocities? Geocities still exists? Wait what is Geocities doing hacking Sony?"
  • I didn't have anything to do with it. Honest.

  • I think a Sony employee connected a usb drive to a server and made a copy of a db export.
  • Come on, really!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ..and began its attack against humanity on April 21

    First it gains access to all playstation3's running in the world, uses the powerful cell processor in an enormous computing cluster. Nobody ever suspects playstation3's as the brain of skynet.
    Second it steals millions of peoples information and using it begins to wreak havoc on the world financial system by creating systematic fraud piece by piece.
    Third it creates a worm which penetrates into defunct Pontiac and Saturn factories and uses the assembly line r

  • by Anonymous Coward

    All he wanted was a pepsi and sony wouldn't give it to him!

  • The correct link for this story is geohot's blog: http://geohotgotsued.blogspot.com/2011/04/recent-news.html [blogspot.com]

    not some wanker journalist's ad-laden failure to summarize said blog.

  • I for one am glad for this article. I have been following Hotz legal issues here on slashdot... and when I heard the PSN was hacked I did draw a possible connection in some manner in my mind. I found this useful to here a report that Hotz is clearly rejecting an involvement. Thanks.
  • If you know about Geohot's motive to hack the PS3 itself, it really doesn't make sense why he would be involved with this. He wants people to be able to do more with their PS3s, not less.

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