Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Encryption PlayStation (Games) Sony

Sony Marketing Man Tweets PS3 Master Key 351

An anonymous reader writes "Sony Marketing Man, Kevin Butler's official Twitter feed retweets a post by @exiva that posts the PS3 Master key. Kevin Butler who has over 69,000 followers tweet read (The tweet now deleted): '@TheKevinButler Lemme guess... you sank my Battleship? RT @exiva: 46 DC EA D3 17 FE 45 D8 09 23 EB 97 E4 95 64 10 D4 CD B2 C2 Come at me, @TheKevinButler'" Here is a screenshot of the tweet.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sony Marketing Man Tweets PS3 Master Key

Comments Filter:
  • I think (Score:3, Insightful)

    by redemtionboy ( 890616 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @11:16AM (#35150442)
    Sony is just farking with us now. That or all future games are going to have online-connection necessary DRM. Xbox 360 and Wii were cracked ages ago, yet only Sony is behaving like a 2-year old about it.
    • Re:I think (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zelgadiss ( 213127 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @11:27AM (#35150550)

      Can't be helped.

      If console makers give up on securing their consoles with these fairly non-intrusive DRM and leave their consoles wide open like the PC, it's only common sense to expect PC like DRM from games.

      Even if Sony, Big-N and MS does nothing to enforce copy protection, the game publishers will add their own.

      IMO it's kind of a pick your poison situation.
      Have the console maker do it via locking down their console or have the game publishers make a crazy mess of it.

      • Re:I think (Score:5, Interesting)

        by redemtionboy ( 890616 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @11:37AM (#35150666)
        Microsoft has handled the situation appropriately, by putting in fixes and banning consoles and user accounts that break the EULA by hacking the system. Such behavior doesn't end piracy (something that is impossible to do, See: The Fallacy of Perfect Security), it only makes it less convenient, but it doesn't get in the way of honest individuals who purchase content fairly. I fully support Microsoft's behavior as it is a much more reasonable response that keeps both gamers and studios as happy as possible. It may not be as ideal to me as a consumer who wants to do what I want with the console and run homebrew and custom hacks on it, but it never gets in the way of me using the console as Microsoft presented it when I purchased it.
        • Re:I think (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Zelgadiss ( 213127 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @11:48AM (#35150804)

          I don't keep up on 360 hacks but to my knowledge MS didn't have their signing key compromised though.

          The only hacks I know of are messing with the DVD drive to play pirated games. Has anyone really gotten homebrew to run on that thing?

          by putting in fixes and banning consoles and user accounts that break the EULA by hacking the system

          I believe Sony would have fix it if they could - they did it with the PSP and the various hacks (etc the first PSP hack that exploited a bug in the TIFF viewer lib).
          With the signing key in the wild, custom firmware that can evade detection won't be hard. Banning will be of limited effectiveness.

          • XNA (Score:5, Informative)

            by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @12:21PM (#35151264) Homepage Journal
            As I understand it, there hasn't been much of an effort to jailbreak the Xbox 360 console for homebrew because Microsoft offers a limited "XNA" sandbox in which to make, run, and even sell homebrew games, and it appears far more committed to XNA than Sony ever was to Other OS.
            • Other OS was also a sandbox, and it was free. The applications you create to run either directly on Other OS or on top of Linux can also be freely distributed.

              You must pay for XNA if I'm right, and there are "restrictions" to how apps are distributed.

              Correct me if I'm wrong.

              • by pavon ( 30274 )

                Yeah, but the Other OS sandbox prevented it from accessing the GPU which made it completely unsuitable for homebrew games. The XNA dev kit is free, and games created with it can be freely distributed on windows computers. Distributing on XBox live requires a $99/year subscription, but that is pretty cheap for what you get. If you sell your game for $5, it only takes 20 sales to pay it off. Microsoft also does a good job of promoting good homebrew games. My only complaint about it is that it isn't compatible

        • by DrXym ( 126579 )
          And Sony will likely be doing pretty much the same as Microsoft. Surreptitious checks for mods when you sign in or play certain games. I doubt they'd give a crap about mods if it were just some guy wanting to install XBMC or an MKV player. Reality says it's because 99.9% of mods will be used to facilitate piracy. So obviously they're treating it seriously. The whole drivel about a "backdoor" last week was probably preparation for an additional challenge / response step during PSN signon.
          • Then they should be checking for modified game executables and LV2 syscall hacks and little else. Checksum game data files as well if you want to check for cheats beyond piracy. Use one of those rootkit features supposedly added to 3.56 to do so, if you'd like.

            Any pirate game is either going to have an LV2 syscall hack in place (to redirect /dev/bdvd to another folder, this is how backup managers work) or have a modified executable (to make it look at some other location in place of /dev/bdvd). Anything

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          One thing is denying access to services if the user doesn't follow the EULA.
          Another thing entirely is to modify the user's system if he doesn't follow the EULA.

          Technically and logically, that's no different from end-users modifying and disabling the manufacturers servers if they find the manufacturer in violation of an agreement.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Zelgadiss ( 213127 )

            If you are referring to "Other OS", it's not targeting specific users because of EULA violations, it was patching of a "security" hole that effected all users.

            Sony probably rather not do it, but it was either that or let people like Geohot do what they want with the hypervisor.
            Game developers will not be happy, neither will gamers when they see rampant cheating online - both are their main source of income BTW.

            They picked their poison, and frankly I don't blame them for the choice they made.

        • but it never gets in the way of me using the console as Microsoft presented it when I purchased it.

          Exactly. Don't expect Linux to ever be presented on a console again. Ever.

        • Appropriate? If they're damaging the end users console by taking away features and preventing it from being fully utilized then no, it's not appropriate and MS should be sued. You can't just ban consoles because you don't like what the owner was choosing to do with it.

    • Nintendo keeps patching the Wii to block homebrew attempts calling them "stability updates" and blocking use of the Wii Shop until you update for no good reason. So they're not much better. Sony's Other OS option seemed to make everyone happy though, and I only started hearing about the PS3 being broken after that option was removed. If all consoles had something like that I bet piracy would go down just because people developing homebrew wouldn't have to punch holes that pirates can crawl through.
      • If all consoles had something like that I bet piracy would go down just because people developing homebrew wouldn't have to punch holes that pirates can crawl through.

        In theory, that is.

        See Geohot.

        • Wasn't geohot's original hack to get at the video hardware that was explicitly disabled in OtherOS, which involved a hole that pirates could crawl through and geohot knew that?

          As in, Sony inherently crippled homebrew, people developing homebrew punched a hole that pirates could crawl through, so Sony removed the ability for homebrewers to do anything by removing OtherOS entirely, causing new holes to be punched?

          • Crippled yes, but it was still there.

            If you want an uncrippled platform, feel free to buy a PC.

            You have to understand they are not a charity, they have to make money off the device somehow, and that "how" was through licensed games - the video hardware was how they got people to sign up for licenses.
            Consoles work on the razor and blade model, it's the way things evolved.
            Consoles have to be cheap (look what happened with the $600 PS3), so they are sold either at a loss or barely break even (manufacturing isn

            • Well then, maybe the razor and blade model needs to be replaced with something more sustainable.

              Make the console $800, but the games $40. Then Sony doesn't need to worry about licensing and royalties... oh, but wait, this is Sony we're talking about. They love royalties, fuck.

      • Right, but that actually is much better, because it doesn't get in the way of you using the Wii as Nintendo sold it to you. If I never crack my Wii, I never notice any issues. Sony is making it inconvenient for you to use the PS3 no matter what you do. Hacking should come with certain risks and understandings that this is not what the manufacturer intended it to be used as, but that's the game and most of us that do so understand that going into it. Running homebrew and pirated copies of games is in general
        • Sony is making it inconvenient for you to use the PS3 no matter what you do.

          how am i inconvenienced if i never run a pirated game, or try to hack ps3 to run homebrew software (something it was never supposed to do)?

      • by slapout ( 93640 )

        "If all consoles had something like that I bet piracy would go down just because people developing homebrew wouldn't have to punch holes that pirates can crawl through."

        The XBox360 seems to help your argument. They have a program in place to let homebrew developers write for the console -- and as far as I know, the 360 hasn't been hacked yet. Of course, it could be that they just have better security than the others.

      • by Nursie ( 632944 )

        I think they gave up on that. They have released homebrew-blocking updates several times but the latest version of the firmware has been out and compromised for a long time now.

        With the Wii it's actually quite involved to get games running off the HD, involving multiple steps, multiple component installs, and you need to start with one of about 3 possible games that contain a glitch (there was a gameless one, but that got patched).

        The ps3 is different in that respect - install custom firmware, install game

  • So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aeternitas827 ( 1256210 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @11:21AM (#35150480)
    Does this mean that Sony have now published the key? Its not as though the person running the Twitter account had to retweet. Reply or dm would have been sufficient to get the quip in. A simple Google search would have told what this was, after all.
    • by Dalroth ( 85450 )

      No. It means that somebody who works at Sony published the key and will likely be fired for misuses of company resources.

      • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @11:47AM (#35150782)
        I am guessing, but I think the poster was asking if Sony published in the context of protecting a trade secret. My understanding is that if a company fails to protect and/or publishes a trade secret, either intentionally or accidentally, the information loses its trade secret status in the eyes of the law. So in this context it is an interest question, does publicly repeating what an outside has said count as disclosure of a trade secret with respect to the law?
    • Actually, it probably means that his Twitter account was hacked, and the key posted. In another article Sony indicated that they would be going after every web site hosting the key to remove it from the internet. Now that key is posted on Slashdot.

      • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <> on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @12:17PM (#35151206) Homepage

        Doubtful. Not many people could tell what a private key is when looking at it, especially not a marketing type who doesn't deal with that shit. I'm betting it was just an ignorance mistake on the part of whoever was manning the Kevin Jack twitter account at that time. Just because you see an encryption key doesn't mean 99% of the rest of the world will know what it is.

        Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

    • by NETHED ( 258016 )
      Honestly, I doubt the poor shlub about to be fired from marketing had ANY idea what he was doing. He saw the @-reply towards his account, didn't know what that meant, and decided to make a funny. Someone else at Sony saw the "you sunk my battleship" tweet, and after a mild heart attack and stroke, ran to the aforementioned shlub and told him to remove the tweet. What does this mean? It means that Sony's legal position is now much more tenuous, but I highly doubt if that will stop lawyers who are working
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by miknix ( 1047580 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @11:58AM (#35150924) Homepage

      I think the guy behind TheKevinButler twitter account thought the twittered PS3 master key was some kind of coordinates, that's why he replied "you sank my Battleship?". After someone from Sony realized it was in fact the master key, the marketing team must have removed the related post. Makes sense.. no?

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
        But in a way, his battleship was most certainly sunk...
      • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

        Actually.... it looks like he didn't know what it was at all, I am pretty sure that the battleship quote was just a snarky comment.

        Though this reminds me of implementing a notification system. It was a web page that allowed notices to be posted, and also to have them be pushed out onto email and usenet (yah, it was a while ago). Lets never mind that my boss had me write the thing before he sent me (alone) to the design comittee with instructions "don't let them know its written already, try to resist any fu

    • Anybody who might be a party to a lawsuit regarding the publishing of the key should download that screenshot RIGHT NOW and keep track of it in case of a lawsuit. Make sure your lawyer knows about its existence.
  • Not really the guy's real twitter account?
  • Or... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Deimos24601 ( 904979 ) *
    His twitter account probably got hacked.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I never understood this "account hacked" thing. You mean that twitter service has a security vulnerability and someone was able to tweet with his account without the right credentials, OR someone used his account logging in with his weak password?, because that's not hacking on my book.

    • Kevin Butler is a character made up by Sony's marketing department (his Wikipedia page [] says his twitter account is run by the marketing agency that invented him). Some behind-the-scene marketing basically replied without knowing what he was replying to -- whoops..
  • I'm very confused about this story. I think there are a few plausible explanations:

    Has anyone actually verified that this is indeed the key?

    Sony really wanted to leak it - why else would a marketing guy even have the key?

    He doesn't actually work for Sony. I have some posts that say he is not. (a-la Colbert)

    Can anyone clarify any of these thoughts?

    • Re:Confused... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bill Dimm ( 463823 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @11:43AM (#35150744) Homepage

      My (perhaps incorrect) understanding is that exiva tweeted the key to Kevin Butler (the marketing guy) followed by the words "Come at me." Kevin Butler then retweeted it with "Lemme guess... you sank my Battleship?" because he didn't know what it was. So, Sony didn't give the key to a marketing guy, someone outside of Sony (exiva) did.

    • I think the simplest explanation is that the marking person behind that twitter account has no idea what a root key looks like, so he retweeted it without knowing what it was. That's why he thought it was Battleship moves.

  • by BattleApple ( 956701 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @11:40AM (#35150710)
    Is Milton Bradley going to file a lawsuit against Sony?
    • 46 DC EA 17 FE 45 09 23 EB 97 E4 95 64 10 CD are not valid Battleship(tm) coordinates, although D3 D8 E4 D4 B2 C2 are. The Battleship(tm) board is labelled with rows 1-10 an columns A-L . So valid Battleship(tm) coordinates would be always be a combination of a letter and a number.
      • by daid303 ( 843777 )

        These coordinates are for the extended Battleship(tm) game. Battleship(tm) with Nukes(tm) from Orbit(tm)

  • A clever dupe! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordStormes ( 1749242 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @11:42AM (#35150740) Homepage Journal
    Look at the reply - "Lemme guess, you sank my battleship!" - The marketing guy had NO IDEA what he was reposting, he was simply trying to figure out why some guy dumped a random string of characters on his Twitter. With the spaces in there, it looks like a log of a Battleship game. The original tweeter simply confused a non-IT guy who had no idea that was even a hexidecimal value, let alone the significance of that particular one, into replying to a tweet. In short, absolutely brilliant.
    • Re:A clever dupe! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @12:52PM (#35151668) Homepage

      The irony of the situation is how appropriate that response is, even in the new context.

    • The problem is we have now "wasted" this meme such that "any information coming from an inbound message in social media that gets repeated is either not intentionally repeated as an authorized communication", or else all info from an inbound message must be vetted by legal before being included in a reply.

  • Read the tweet, he though it was a set of Battleship coordinates. I bet it actually was that guy (or whoever tweets for him) that posted it.

  • Sony sues itself for DMCA violation.
  • This really is the Streisand Effect ++ At what point will Sony give up? Surely the resources involved in chasing down every site will eventually cost more than the projected income from keeping this key private. Not that it is private anymore. A quick Google finds 136,000 entries for the key!

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      This really is the Streisand Effect ++ At what point will Sony give up?

      They won't give up. They have deeper pockets than the hackers and can keep them tied up in the courts for as long as they like.

  • Looks like Sony's new "Hack the Box!" marketing plan got leaked a little early.

  • This marketing idiot retweeted something someone sent him and had no idea what he was doing...

    Read the tweet...

    He should be fired. He's an idiot.

  • Does /. now get shut down by Sony for posting the key?
  • Kevin Butler (Score:4, Informative)

    by a_nonamiss ( 743253 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @12:13PM (#35151154)
    Do you people realize that Kevin Butler isn't even a real person? (At least, not at Sony.) He's a fictional character played by an actor. This twitter account is probably manned by dozens of employees in the marketing department paid to do just that. Any one of them could have been tricked or compromised. citation []
  • by otis wildflower ( 4889 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @12:21PM (#35151256) Homepage
  • A truly amusing hack, and one worthy of being called a hack in the first place, would be to get Sony's DNS servers to return the assorted keys. Twitter foolery is just that.

  • Sony is demanding Twitter turn over all of the IP addresses of everyone who follows Kevin Butler. For good measure, they also want the IP addresses of all of *those* followers followers and the followers of the second batch as well.

    Sony is also preparing a lawsuit against Google for making the RTs available to the world on Google RealTime:

    Finally, Sony is also suing

  • "'@TheKevinButler Lemme guess... you sank my Battleship?"

    Yes, yes he did.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes