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Encryption PlayStation (Games) Security Sony Games

PS3 Encryption Keys Leaked 284

Posted by Soulskill
from the andrei,-you've-lost-another-submarine? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "PS3 security has been compromised again. The holy grail of the PS3 security encryption keys — LV0 keys — have been found and leaked into the wild. For the homebrew community, this means deeper access into the PS3: the possibility of custom (or modified) firmware up to the most recent version, the possibility of bypassing PS3 hypervisor for installing GNU/Linux with full hardware access, dual firmware booting, homebrew advanced recovery (on the molds of Bootmii on Wii), and more. It might lead to more rampant piracy too, because the LV0 keys could facilitate the discovering of the newer games' encryption keys, ones that require newer firmware."
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PS3 Encryption Keys Leaked

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  • by darkfeline (1890882) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:16PM (#41746391)
    IIRC, the US military was one of the biggest users of PS3 as cheap hardware for Linux "racks". How much says that they'll now resume installing Linux on PS3? Heck, how much says that it was a hacker working for the military who leaked the keys in the first place?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:24PM (#41746461)

    GPU programming, while more difficult, offers higher performance vector computing, on common hardware, unlike the cell processor. The G80 was not released until late 2006, and CUDA took until about 2008. Until then, the Cell processor had mindshare.

  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:24PM (#41746463) Homepage Journal

    It's always a little amazing to see how people cheer on the leaks and cracks when they appear in a closed system, yet continue to support these closed systems with their money and attention when open systems are available.

    It's just this very weird disconnect in consumer psychology. You don't have to crack a PC (yet) to do what you want with it. But you make a computer small and flat and suddenly you find yourself having to pay $1+ for every little program, from a collection of programs that somebody else has decided you shall have access to. You don't see the "fuck the man" attitude at the store, you only see it when a Scandinavian high schooler comes up with a crack for your game console and the manufacturer tells you you can't have it.

    I just don't get it. How many years past DeCSS are we and banging our heads against the same wall?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:36PM (#41746535)

    Fundamentally, client-side security doesn't work. You can obscure the hell out of it and bury it deep within the system, but sooner or later, someone's gonna crack it.

    It lasted six years. The PS3 doesn't have much life left as a flagship console. Better security would have been a waste of money.

  • Re:It's nice but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by petsounds (593538) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @08:31PM (#41746879)

    Served its purpose? It's still a powerful machine. Would be a brilliant media center with better software. Homebrew, emulators. Sounds like a purpose is just starting to me.

    The only disappointing part is this is coming about not through Sony coming to their senses or the courts forcing them to restore Linux functionality to the PS3, but through the tenacity of hacktivists. But such is the world we live in.

  • Re:It's nice but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @09:47PM (#41747429) Homepage

    Well, I for one have been waiting for this. I've kept a modified firmware on my PS3 in order to be able to use various media players and emulators on it, and I don't like that fact that the stock firmware periodically sends a list of every single action you've taken to Sony -- including filenames, sizes, the names of the devices they were opened from and so on.

    I've found myself not playing games on the PS3 much, but it makes for a great media player. As such with the release of these LV0 keys I'm hoping to get to use Netflix on it soon.

  • Re:subject (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @10:09PM (#41747563)
    Playing devils advocate... For the same reason the court seemed to side with Sony about being able to remove features (e.g. Linux support), why wouldn't they also be allowed to remove other features (e.g. all of them), by bricking the whole thing, especially if it's out of warranty. It would be a total dick move to do, but it's Sony. PS3 is 6 years old. PS4 is in development. They can manufacture slim PS3s cheaply now. The games are where they make their money. Just send everyone (who bought a PS3 in the last year) a new slim PS3 with new keys, and nuke the rest. They lose maybe $100 per customer, but they get to secure their machine. and as long as they sell at least 2 new games for each free PS3 they send out, they break even. Presumably anyone who bought a PS3 within the last year, intends to buy games for it. Naive people will be glad to get a new PS3 because it's new. If I was a corporate douchebag at Sony, I know I'd be pushing to nuke the old PS3s and screw over all my customers (because I would be in character).
  • Re:subject (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @10:33PM (#41747775)

    I would not be at all surprised to find out that the leak came from Sony, and was deliberate.

    Making the PSX/PS1 easy to hack was the smartest thing that Sony ever did, intentionally or not. Chipping the PlayStation was simple for geeks, who got excited about exclusive games like Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy 7, and spread the word to their non-chipping friends.

    The original PlayStation was so overwhelmingly popular that they mortally wounded Sega, and ensured that the N64 was only a modest success.

    That set the stage for the PS2 to be the best-selling console in history, despite the efforts of the (deeply-subsidized) Xbox, which was an excellent console in its own right.

    The PS3 was not hacker-friendly or technologically superior. Worst of all, it was very expensive. The reasonable success that Sony has had with the PS3 is largely due to the momentum from the PS1 and PS2 - the PS4 will have no such advantage.

    In its last years, the PS3 is still unable to compete on price. The basic specs cannot be improved without destroying backwards compatibility. That only left Sony with one option - make the PS3 easy to hack.

  • Re:subject (Score:5, Interesting)

    by marcansoft (727665) <hector&marcansoft,com> on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @12:57AM (#41748681) Homepage

    Oh, one more thing. I'm assuming that these keys actually should be called the bootldr keys (as in the keys that bootldr uses to verify lv0), and that the name "lv0" is just a misnomer (because lv0 is, itself, signed using these keys).

    If this keyset is just what Sony introduced in lv0 after the original hack, and they are used to sign everything *under* lv0 and that is loaded *by* lv0, then this whole thing is not newsworthy and none of what I said applies. It just means that all firmwares *to date* can be decrypted. Sony will replace this keyset and update lv0 and everything will be back at step 1 again. lv0 is updatable, unlike bootldr, and is most definitely not a fixed root of trust (unlike metldr, which was, until the architecture hack/change wrapped everything in lv0). If this is the case, color me unimpressed.

  • Re:subject (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kdemetter (965669) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @01:02AM (#41748703)

    If you acquire any free games you haven't paid for and are supposed to, that is theft.

    Legal Dictionary on "Theft" :
    the generic term for all crimes in which a person intentionally and fraudulently takes personal property of another without permission or consent and with the intent to convert it to the taker's use

    In a broad sense it would seem to fit, but I'm not sure about the "takes personal property" : it's not really taken, the original owner still has it.

    If I were to develop my own game, based on the an existing game ( just from experience with the game ), I would be creating a free game, and some people might decide to play my free game instead of buying the original. But would it be theft ?

    The way you describe it, it would be, because I copied something : I copied the idea .
    If so, then a whole lot of free games would be illegal.

  • Tax Breaks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @01:32AM (#41748835)
    Tax breaks in Europe is why they offered it in the first place. But Europe decided a PS3 with Linux on it was not a PC so they lost the tax breaks. So they stopped supporting Linux.
  • Re:It's nice but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @03:40AM (#41749345) Homepage

    The techniques developed could help crack the next generation console though. It is hard to see how you can possibly defend against things like memory bus glitching, which was the initial attack vector.

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