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PlayStation (Games) Sony Games Hardware

PS3 Hacked? 296

Several readers have sent word that George Hotz (a.k.a. geohot), the hacker best known for unlocking Apple's iPhone, says he has now hacked the PlayStation 3. From his blog post: "I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I've also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip. 3 years, 2 months, 11 days...that's a pretty secure system. ... As far as the exploit goes, I'm not revealing it yet. The theory isn't really patchable, but they can make implementations much harder. Also, for obvious reasons I can't post dumps. I'm hoping to find the decryption keys and post them, but they may be embedded in hardware. Hopefully keys are setup like the iPhone's KBAG."
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PS3 Hacked?

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  • Re:Cheating (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 25, 2010 @07:46AM (#30888260)

    No access to the GPU before this!

  • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:03AM (#30888360)

    You can't access some of the hardware, particularly the GFX from an "Other OS" and the new slim models don't even support the Other OS option, so no, this is not just for cheating and piracy and there is no current way to run homebrew well.

    We can even run linux better in a hacked system as currently the graphics performance is pretty dreadful. There is far more to life than piracy and cheating. I welcome this development.

    Helll, I'd welcome it even if there were few to no forseeable applications, just the opening up of a new computer platform...

  • Re:Cheating (Score:5, Informative)

    by jbssm ( 961115 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:40AM (#30888546)
    No it's not. In this case there is a very valid reason to hack the PS3. Linux with full access to the hardware! So far you couldn't use the GPU and you where only using a small part of the CPU processing power. Now imagine having this great multiprocessor architecture completely unlocked for you to program it. These are great news.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:40AM (#30888556)
    PMS works on Linux too - might not matter for some, but it's a killer feature for me.
  • by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:46AM (#30888604)
    You rock so hard. I've been using TVersity under windows because I couldn't find a good Media server to run under Linux. I can't wait to get home to try this out.
  • No Cedega for you! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @08:59AM (#30888672)

    Sorry, but Wine and its derivatives can only ever work on x86 hardware (or hardware with x86 compatibility) as I understand it. You can move binaries between OS's by emulating.intercepting.translating system calls, but not between architectures.

    It would need native linux games to be compiled for PPC, preferably designed and built specially for Cell hardware.

  • Re:Cheating (Score:5, Informative)

    by ninjakoala ( 890584 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:03AM (#30888698)

    Actually there is no longer any way to run homebrew on PS3, unless you manage to run it as BD-Live content from a disc somehow (like BluTV).

    With PS3 Slim the ability to run "Other OS" disappeared with Sony citing costs to maintain the feature as the reason to kill it off.

    The homebrew option was never really that interesting as (like others have pointed out) there was no direct GPU access and there was no option to VSYNC, which makes for horrible media playback.

    While both PS3 and 360 have reasonable video playback features, we all know they come nowhere near the power of XBMC and similar solutions. If you only want one device under your television and would prefer not converting/transcoding everything, this hack might well end up being very useful.

    I certainly hope to add XBMC functionality to my PS3, because now that the Slim is out, it's pretty easy to move around the house and hook up to and old device (easier than moving my 360s).

  • Re:Cheating (Score:5, Informative)

    by MidnightBrewer ( 97195 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:18AM (#30888796)

    Sony is perfectly fine with you running software sold for the PS3; that's how they make their money. Hacking it so that you can give that software away isn't in their best interest, so they build in DRM. The Windows comparison doesn't hold water in this case.

    It keeps their developers happy and maintains a semblance of sanity on their system. It's ugly, but seeing that its main purpose is to be a gaming system, it does the job. They don't stop you from remotely streaming or locally playing any kind of media; you're free to knock yourself out. Heck, they even support DivX.

    Given a choice, Sony would rather restrict their infinitesimally small Linux base because, quite frankly, nobody really cares. People who are bloody-minded enough to use them as a processing farm are more curiosities than mainstream, and I'm sure that serious efforts, such as by universities and the like, get one-on-one support from Sony if they want it.

    Linux users on the PS3: zero profit. PS3 gamers on the PS3: the whole reason the system was made. I think that the line of reasoning is pretty straightforward here.

  • by slimjim8094 ( 941042 ) <> on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:36AM (#30888946)

    Wrong. WINE Is *Not* an Emulator; that is, it is perfectly happy to re-implement the Windows API. And like most code, it can be recompiled on, say, SPARC without too much work.

    But the code that calls it needs to be able to execute natively - because WINE Is Not an Emulator. In theory you could run Windows NT Alpha/PowerPC code with the corresponding version of WINE...

    tl;dr GP gets it right. WINE won't work.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:38AM (#30888964)
    Not to come off as too aggressive, but games have nothing to do with it. I want to run Fedora on my PS3, and I want to have uninhibited access to the hardware when I do that -- I want the graphics card, I want all the RAM, I want all the SPEs. I do not want to deal with the hyperviser; it gets in the way and slows things down. Yes, the PS3 is powerful even with the hyperviser, but I want more.

    If you think games are the most important aspect to breaking the PS3 hyperviser, you are dead wrong.
  • by SenseiLeNoir ( 699164 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:55AM (#30889128)

    a) The other OS function was ONLY cut from the Slim version. Fat versions still have it, and its still available on firmware updates for the fat version. Nevertheless, how you say it limits CPU does not make sense, as you do get the same CPU cores, that native PS3 games get IF you run other OS (1 general dual threaded PPU, and 6 SPUs, with 1 being reserved for the system, same as for native ps3 games). If you have a slim PS3, you cannot get other OS anyway []

    b) the other half of the RAM used by the GPU CAN be accessed by Linux too, either as a framebuffer, or as swap memory.

  • Re:RSX in Linux? (Score:3, Informative)

    by daid303 ( 843777 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @10:01AM (#30889198)

    Like they didn't touch the GC/Wii after it got hacked: [] ?

  • by cbhacking ( 979169 ) <been_out_cruisin ... om ['hoo' in gap> on Monday January 25, 2010 @10:05AM (#30889238) Homepage Journal

    Wine is actually working on getting support for other architectures (ARM is the one I noteced), presumably either to add support for WinMo apps on Android or similar (WinCE API is a bit different from Win32, but not extremely) or to support compiling a Win32 app for Linux on ARM.

    That said, the gist of your post is completely correct. For now, at least, Wine would be completely useless on the Cell or any other PPC-based processor.

  • by LazyBoot ( 756150 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @11:10AM (#30890224)
    There's also the later fat ones that don't play ps2 games but still have the other-os feature...
  • Re:Cheating (Score:3, Informative)

    by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <> on Monday January 25, 2010 @11:44AM (#30890794) Homepage Journal

    Its also worth pointing out that the PS3 will even let me rip a CD down to high quality AAC from its drive and then copy it onto my MP3 player or a USB stick. They're not exactly being evil here.

  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @01:31PM (#30892746)
    Once the method for hacking PS3s becomes publicly available, I'm certain that 90% of the hacks will be used to play pirated games. I'm not choosing 90% for hyperbole; I mean at least 19 out of every 20. No, I haven't seen a study. This is being pulled out of a LOT of personal experience.

    I'm all for the hacks, because that one user deserves to be able to use his PS3 how he wishes; but piracy is a side-effect that will numerically overwhelm the homebrew, just like it has on every cracked console (360, Wii, DS, PSP, x-box, PS2, etc.)

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents