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PlayStation (Games) Programming Sony Hardware

Developer Claims 'PS4 Officially Jailbroken' (networkworld.com) 133

colinneagle sends word that a developer has claimed to have achieved a jailbreak of the PlayStation 4. Networkworld reports: "If you have a PS4 and want to run homebrew content, then you might be happy to know developer CTurt claimed, "PS4 is now officially jailbroken." Over the weekend, CTurt took to Twitter to make the announcement. He did not use a jail vulnerability, he explained in a tweet. Instead, he used a FreeBSD kernel exploit.

Besides posting "an open source PlayStation 4 SDK" on GitHub, CTurt analyzed PS4's security twice and explained PS4 hacking. CTurt updated the open source PS4 SDK yesterday; he previously explained that Sony's proprietary Orbis OS is based on FREEBSD. In the past he released the PS4-playground, which included PS4 tools and experiments using the Webkit exploit for PS4 firmware version 1.76. To put that in context, Sony released version 3.0 in September. However, CTurt claimed the hack could be made to work on newer firmware versions.

Other PS4 hackers are reportedly also working on a kernel exploit, yet as Wololo pointed out, it is unlikely there might be more than proof-of-concept videos as the developers continue to tweak the exploit. Otherwise, Sony will do as it has in the past and release a new firmware version. In October 2014, developers nas and Proxima studied the PSVita Webkit exploit, applied it to the PS4, and then released the PS4 proof-of-concept. Shortly thereafter. Sony pushed out new firmware as a patch."
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Developer Claims 'PS4 Officially Jailbroken'

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  • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @04:50PM (#51117487) Journal

    Broken in the sense that as long as you want to only play current games and never connect to the internet again, sure.

    • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
      Considering that online multiplayer requires a paid subscription, there may be actually more incentive for people to use it this time around, as opposed to the PS3.
      • I'm totally baffled why console users put up with the subscription schemes in the first place, or why the console makers don't compete to have the cheapest or free-est subscriptions.

        • by PRMan ( 959735 )
          Especially Microsoft since XBox One Live is getting killed on being too expensive.
        • by FauxReal ( 653820 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @07:56PM (#51118487) Homepage
          Online play was free for PS3 and paid for Xbox 360. This generation Sony decided to start charging too. They know that people are willing to pay for DLC subscriptions and microtransactions for mobile games while MS has been charging. So Sony is confident that they have people hooked too. The name of the game over the last decade has been to turn everything possible into a service model (I'm looking at you Office 360 and Adobe Creative Cloud). I'm really curious as to how far this can go, everyone can't pay a monthly fee for everything. And with technology ramping up to the point where a lot of our jobs will become automated and people-free... something's gotta give.
          • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @08:17PM (#51118627)

            A million years ago (more like a little over a decade) I had a friend who worked for a gaming company. He was hoping that the XBox, which was just coming out, was going to become popular. I expressed some surprise since Microsoft wasn't widely respected in other fields. His explanation was that Sony was sucking too much money from the development houses, the Playstation tax that every game must pay, and Microsoft was being much more lenient. But then fast forward and we see that Microsoft was deliberately selling below cost to get a market share, then added their subscriptions, then got into and out of hot water about plans for xbox one, console exclusives, etc. Maybe game devs got some more margins from xbox but in the end the customers of consoles have a choice between two or three evils (or more with pc).

          • by Jethro ( 14165 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @10:42PM (#51119307) Homepage

            > Online play was free for PS3 and paid for Xbox 360. This generation Sony decided to start charging too.

            And that's the point where the advantages of PC gaming outweighed the disadvantages for me. Up until that, I was willing to put up with consoles, but that was the last straw.

            • by Kartu ( 1490911 )

              Sony thought it would make a difference, PSN online play was free, PSN+ came with a bunch of great free games, XBox online play cost money.

              People voted "we don't care" with their wallets.

              So Sony followed Microsoft's move.

              I'd say, shame on voters.

          • This phenomenon can be summarized as "corporations hate private ownership of property, and want us all to be serfs instead so that they can collect rent in perpetuity."

        • I haven't gotten a subscription, but you *do* get free full games (that work as long as your subscription lasts) every month. Usually one or more of the highest caliber games. (So yes, you might already own them.)

          Sony has been doing it for several years, and even though Microsoft had the more "required" subscription (even to use things like Netflix until the past year or two), MS only started the free game thing in earnest within the past year, IIRC.

          • I haven't gotten a subscription, but you *do* get free full games (that work as long as your subscription lasts)

            How do you figure that something you have to pay to get is in any way free?

            • Because you are getting this in addition to what the subscription previously contained.

              They're full games.. If you finish the game, _most_ people don't go back and play them again.

              You're not paying for the game itself specifically, you're paying for the subscription.

              You're being incredibly nitpick (which is a good thing usually), but it is clear what I mean.

              If you get a sample of food at Costco, does that count as "not free" because you have to pay for a Costco membership?

              • I am not being nitpicky at all. If you have to pay to be able to obtain something, then it is not free. They can call it a "bonus" or whatever but that is just marketing jargon.

        • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @09:33PM (#51119009) Journal

          I used to sell some specialized professional software for $150, flat fee it yours forever. The competition charged $35 per month. A LOT of customers preferred the $35/month option, even after I pointed out that's $420/year. They all use the software for several years, not for a month or two.

          After a couple of years of customer requests , I added a $25/month option to our order form, and pointed out that $150 flat was a better value - buy 6 months, get forever free. A lot of people still chose $25/month.

          The current version is now $269 flat or $59/month. Just the other day I spoke to a customer who has had two installations and wants another. I pointed out so far he's paid for 36 months x $59. = $2,124 each, when he could have paid $269; for the next one he should just pay $269 and save $2,000. He didn't want to! He wants to pay $59 every month for the new installation as well. Wtf?

          Often in this situation, when I notice it, I just tell the customer to stop paying. It's silly as heck to keep paying every month, but that's what many customers want.

          • But compare to paying $0 a month for PC games, version $>0 on consoles.

            Though there are definitely demographic differences between the two camps. Huge demographic differences even on PC between I-love-DRM players and older players. There is one camp of players that only want new games and nothing else. If the game is a month old and their friends don't play it then they don't want it.

            But I'm just suprised that the first day that Sony said "there's a monthly fee if you want to do things that other plat

            • But I'm just suprised that the first day that Sony said "there's a monthly fee if you want to do things that other platforms do for free" that no one said "what the hell?!"

              Microsoft did it first. Pay attention to history.

              And when single player games that are paid for and downloaded can't be played without a monthly fee and there's no rioting in the streets?

              Yeah, that's a bit wacky, but Sony customers have already proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that they will put up with shit behavior so that they can have more stuff that says Sony on it. Back when they made quality hardware (i.e. not since the early eighties) that was slightly understandable, but these days it makes no fucking sense. The only thing they do better than other people is camera sensors, but they then proceed to wrap a camera with a shitty crip

            • And when single player games that are paid for and downloaded can't be played without a monthly fee and there's no rioting in the streets?

              What game's that then? I've got an xbox not a playstation but there isn't a game I'm aware of that requires a full subscription for single play, some will require an internet connection sure but you'll only be blocked out of multiplayer portions on a free account.

              • I just read up on some consoles and I think the PS4 does that, if it's a downloaded game and not on disk.

          • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

            Just like people who pay every month over 2 years for a phone instead of buying the phone as a one off... Short term is usually more important, people will rarely consider the long term implications.

          • You should also offer an annual subscription for $500/year. Save 29% over the monthly cost! Cancel anytime after the first year, no permanent licensing required!

          • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

            I wonder if it affects the accounting in some manner that would cause them to make that sort of decision.......operational vs capital expense, maybe? Tax advantages?

          • I'm surprised with software that's so inexpensive your customers go for the monthly, but where ijwork we went with the subscription creative suite.

            It was 18 months before the subscription became more expensive than the upgrades (we had very old version).

            With the subscription we never have high capital expenditure, we saved a lot on day one, and didn't spend extra for 18 months, and we're always up to date.

            Six month repayment is a little silly though, especially when it was only $150 a seat.

          • For companies, 'leasing' an item as a service has pros compared to purchasing a product outright and depreciating it over 3 years.

            So, yes, for companies, leases are better than purchases.

            • Leasing is -simpler- on taxes than figuring depreciation, but it normally costs slightly more taxes to lease (and the actual lease cost is normally higher) . For small businesses, section 179 allows purchase expenses to be deducted rather than depreciated. The section 179 limit was reduced from $500,000 to $25,000, though.

              Bottom line ,leasing is simpler but more expensive.

        • by sd4f ( 1891894 )
          I'm also baffled, I'm a PC gamer anyway so don't really care, but just if it wasn't clear (rereading my comment) I'm referring to an incentive to use the jailbreak. Due to subscription multiplayer, there is a possibility that the jailbreak could allow unofficial servers.
        • by GNious ( 953874 )

          People are idiots?

          I have had close-to EVERY PS4 owner I know ask me to get PS+, so we could play online together - I've told each-and-every-one of them no, since paying monthly rent to play your bought-and-paid-for games is stupid.
          But this peer-pressure, your mates asking that you please spend 5 Euro/month to play Destiny, or Call of Halo, or Star Wars BattleField or any other full-price, multiplayer-centric game, will make a lot of people go, "fuck it, I'll spend the money", and Sony+MS are basically count

        • In this case you at least get free games each month (some of which are even AAA titles) with the subscription. It wouldn't be worth it for online play alone in my opinion.
    • Broken in the sense that this might be useful for people wanting to experiment with writing their own software for the PS4 without paying Sony a fortune, but that's a pretty small target audience. Eventually it will be useful for supporting games the original developer has abandoned.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Why would you want to? It's almost a PC. There's not a single interesting part in there. Why not just hack on the real thing?

        • Too many games are "exclusives" now. They only appear on one console ever, and never even on a PC. Designed to make the player buy brand A instead of brand B, even if the developer making the game would prefer everyone to buy it if possible. Another reason why the PC is not a bad choice for gaming.

        • Why would you want to? It's almost a PC. There's not a single interesting part in there. Why not just hack on the real thing?

          Because one day there will be super shitloads of them at yard sales and flea markets and if they don't have hack value then the next stop is landfill.

    • Is connecting to the internet important for playing games? Oolite doesn't need that. CIV doesn't need that. Doom didn't (did it? - it's been a decade or so since I played it)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Here comes the DMCA takedowns. Better git checkout pretty darn quick.

    Sony still harasses people posting the PS3 jailbreak.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Better git checkout pretty darn quick.

      https://github.com/CTurt/PS4-SDK [github.com]

      git clone https://github.com/CTurt/PS4-SDK

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In a related news, Sony Legal Department announced the PS4 developer has been broken.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @04:54PM (#51117515)

    I guess they should have let people use OtherOS like the PS3... until they didn't. Coincidentally, a couple years after OtherOS was disabled the PS3 was cracked.

    The lesson to be learned here: lock out Linux hackers and you're gonna get pwn3d.

    • by Dorianny ( 1847922 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @05:08PM (#51117597) Journal

      I guess they should have let people use OtherOS like the PS3... until they didn't. Coincidentally, a couple years after OtherOS was disabled the PS3 was cracked.

      The lesson to be learned here: lock out Linux hackers and you're gonna get pwn3d.

      The Cell based PS3 was seriously powerful hardware being sold at a very attractive price by Sony. PS3 clusters made economic sense if you were in the market for a cheap distributed computing platform. The x86 based PS4 was little more than a mid-range PC when released and was sold at break-even price by Sony. Now it would be considered obsolete hardware in the PC world. OtherOS on PS4 would be nothing more than a novelty.

      • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @06:32PM (#51118033)

        The console makers like to sell them below cost at times because they get a nice kickback from sales of the games. There's a naivete with the console makers in that they don't expect anyone else to use the boxes for other purposes, and naivete in thinking that they can stamp it out or that it's hurting their profits if they don't.

        • Right, that's how their model works. The alternative to that is to just sell an open system at the cost + profit price...but we already have a whole sector dedicated to that: the PC market.

          There's a naivete with the console makers in that they don't expect anyone else to use the boxes for other purposes

          I'm not sure you can call it "naivete" when they actively work to stop it.

          and naivete in thinking that they can stamp it out

          In general they can, sure you can hack it to make it do something else but these days that ruins it for its primary purpose and the alternative uses are a crappy version of what you would get if you used the correct hardware instead. For example the

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot AT worf DOT net> on Monday December 14, 2015 @07:25PM (#51118281)

        OtherOS on PS4 would be nothing more than a novelty.

        You have to think a bit more thoroughly.

        First, a console that could somehow run homebrew means homebrewers will likely use that mechanism to run homebrew. Like OtherOS, or XNA. This keeps a highly technical crowd busy and happy. This leaves pirates to work by themselves trying to figure out how to pirate games.

        But take away that ability, and suddenly the homebrewers and pirates goals have aligned - homebrewers want to write code and pirates want to run code.

        So when Sony took away OtherOS, the homebrewers were suddenly looking at how to get it back. And that's when they discovered the fatal flaws of the Sony OS. Pirates rejoiced because homebrewers, who are some of the most technically skilled people around, were doing all the hard work and found the critical bugs - now not only could homebrewers write their own code, but pirates had full access too.

        Microsoft learned this the hard way with the original Xbox - homebrewers found critical flaws in the system and broke it open. The homebrewers even kindly asked Microsoft for an "official" way to homebrew after they found the bug - revealing they found a critical system flaw. Microsoft didn't give way, and the homebrewers released their code, resulting in the complete breaking of the original Xbox.

        I'm sure the homebrewers did the same for Sony, but Sony refused to allow OtherOS and they released their code. At which point other hackers discovered the keys were easily obtainable and got the official master keys.

        In the meantime, Microsoft created an official way to homebrew called XNA, charged a little money for it, and the Xbox360 was never completely cracked - there were optical drive exploits (for pirating games, but those were detectable by the OS), and odd versions of software could run Linux, but that's about it.

        • But take away that ability, and suddenly the homebrewers and pirates goals have aligned - homebrewers want to write code and pirates want to run code.

          Homebrewers want to run code as well, they can write code no problems, the issue here is running code. How exactly are you going to have an open system where "homebrewers" can run code but "pirates" cannot?

        • by Nyder ( 754090 )

          and the Xbox360 was never completely cracked - there were optical drive exploits (for pirating games, but those were detectable by the OS), and odd versions of software could run Linux, but that's about it.

          Not even true. I guess if you are looking for a software hack, then ya, the xbox 360 never got hacked, but there is a couple different hardware hacks that gives you complete control over the Xbox 360. Actually, I'm not sure how you can have not known that when you posted this considering that is what comes up if you google xbox 360 hacks.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        PS3 clusters made economic sense if you were in the market for a cheap distributed computing platform

        Sadly only if you didn't need much memory for what you wanted to do, but it seemed like the only way to get to use the Cell for under $10k.
        I tried to get a very low end Cell machine around that time - about three weeks of the very slimy vendor carefully weighing my companies wallet and strongly hinting at kickbacks finally resulted in a quote that was about the same as buying three similar x86_64 machines.

      • > The Cell based PS3 was seriously powerful hardware being sold at a $400 loss price by Sony.

        FTFY SCEA / Sony was in the red for 4 years due to the high cost of the hardware.

        These days, a cluster or Raspberry Pi gives better watt/$
        * https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

        Or even Parallella:
        * https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          Yup, the PS3 was a loss leader -- they expected to make up the difference through licensing PS3 games and Blu-Ray movies. In a way, it worked. Even if SCEA was in the red, Sony won out when its format became the defacto standard for HD movies.

      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        OtherOS on the PS3 was little more than a novelty toy unless you clustered it for research purposes, and still then, there was a very short window when that was price-competitive with PCs. The hypervisor on the PS3, which still ran when OtherOS was booted, locked any non-Sony-PS3 OS out of many system resources, including graphics resources. Sony was so scared that people would be able to use OtherOS to play pirated games and emulators that they intentionally crippled it. Many a PS3 owner like myself was qu

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > The lesson to be learned here: lock out Linux hackers and you're gonna get pwn3d

      Yeah, extortion rules!

      Also, look up !(correlation => causation).

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      It was only about 2-3 months later...
    • The lesson to be learned here: lock out Linux hackers and you're gonna get pwn3d.

      Sony didn't give a damn about the hacker so long as he wasn't taking the PS3 out of retail distribution channels and buying it in wholesale lots to build his cheap-ass HPC.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @05:07PM (#51117589)
    They should have based their OS on nice, secure Windows instead of that poorly-designed FreeBSD crap!

    I'm being humorous, but it is good to be occasionally reminded that all software has vulnerabilities.
  • Legal? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rtkluttz ( 244325 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @05:17PM (#51117635) Homepage

    When is it going to finally be illegal for device creators to lock us out of our own shit? Hardware DOES NOT EQUAL software. Saying you want one does not automatically imply the other.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're confusing your own set of personal ethics with a managed system of laws. Neither are absolute, but one group is much, much bigger than the other.

    • Hardware DOES NOT EQUAL software. Saying you want one does not automatically imply the other.

      There are times when the geek loses touch with reality.

      People buy a PS4 console because ---- like about 30 million others--- they like the games, programs and services that Sony and its partners have to offer. T

    • When is it going to finally be illegal for device creators to lock us out of our own shit? Hardware DOES NOT EQUAL software. Saying you want one does not automatically imply the other.

      It's a product and it's offered under certain terms. If you don't like those terms then don't buy it, go buy a PC or an open source console instead.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just so everyone is aware the Jailbreak doesn't mean piracy. I expect there to be more dragons lying in wait protecting Sony from pirating masses. Sony has undoubtedly learned from their mistakes and failings with the PS3 and have made very secure system with the PS VITA. Despite the jailbreak, I have my doubts Sony's signed keys for running games will be broken, unless MS lends help to break the PS4 and destroy a competitor.

    Hoping that this allows a full PSP, PSX, and PS2 emulator to be run on the PS4.

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      Just so everyone is aware the Jailbreak doesn't mean piracy.

      People were already pirating on PS4 before this.

  • by DMJC ( 682799 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @05:56PM (#51117859)
    So does anyone want to try installing SteamOS or Debian/Steam on one of these?
    • So does anyone want to try installing SteamOS or Debian/Steam on one of these?

      PS3 allowed a Linux install till it was used to jail break (Root) the system. Just after the break - Sony patched it and took away it's Linux capabilities; an advertised ability of the PS3.

      • Getting mentioned on ArsTechnica or Slashdot, isn't advertising. Neither was Sony having the openplatform site, which wasn't originally indexed by search engines.

        OtherOS wasn't widely known.

    • Exactly what is available on SteamOS that is not available on Win PC?

      The main point of "jailbreaking" the consoles is pirating console exclusive games.
      Other, lesser incentive, might be, simply pirating console games, not necessarily exclusive (sofa gaming vs table + mouse)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2015 @06:08PM (#51117935)

    PS4 and XBoxOne are just AMD APU PCs in a nice box.What's the point?

  • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @07:29PM (#51118323)
    It's kind of funny to think how big gaming platform FreeBSD actually is.
    • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

      I disagree. That's like claiming that glibc is a big gaming platform or something. A PS4 game is a PS4 game, the fact that part of it is BSD doesn't help you if you are running Free BSD and wondering why no one ever ports their Windows / Xbone / PS4 game to your OS.

  • Why spend extraordinary effort to run custom apps on a locked down system, when you can get an open by design PC that will cost you less money long term? Top game releases are the same as on console once you buy a controller, but you also have a choice of countless indie and abandonware titles to occupy your time. Can even run Android games with Bluestacks.

    You can get usable systems at the same price or cheaper than PS4. But even if you pay several hundred more (not sure what is the GPU equivalence point),

    • Agreed, I have pretty much bought every XBox and PS console (except XBox one, it was never officially released here) and I took one look at the latest generation of consoles and went meh? I'll stick with my PC thanks. Add to that every time my house gets broken into (and yes I have moved around, crime is just really high in the country I live in) they always take the consoles, they never steal my PC. They steal the monitors and UPS but they always leave the case behind. Also they never steal the Wii for
    • Because some of the biggest titles are console-only, and even if there is a PC version it may not be released until long after the console version. One of the biggest games of last year, Destiny, was console-only. I purchased a second-hand xbox 360 for myself because I wanted to complete the single-player campaigns of all the Halo games.

      Also because few games allow multiplayer interoperability between console and PC, which means if you are a social gamer you won't be able to hang with the same crowd.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Are games really worth that these days? I am legitimately curious as to why it's worth it to someone to pay for this, as much as this, and with devices and games that seem to often be reported as being openly evil to their customers. I did play some games a while back. Fallout and Fallout 2 were pretty good but then came Fallout Tactics. I don't think I've really played any games since.

        Hmm... I used to be pretty fond of Zork.

      • by iamacat ( 583406 )

        There are also plenty of PC exclusives like "The Stanley Parable", or games that are first released on PC like "Vanishing of Ethan Carter". Those are clever games that take risks, not just generic first person shooters. There is at least a decade of back catalog of games that are perfectly playable and entertaining on today's hardware, and prices drop much more quickly than for console games because of competition.

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      Why spend extraordinary effort to run custom apps on a locked down system, when you can get an open by design PC that will cost you less money long term?

      It's more fun as a hobby than having something that 'just works'. Another reason is the 'coolness factor'.

      You have your answer.

    • Steam has "be online" DRM, I'd understand if you'd mention gog.com (yeah, steam supports "just install, no online DRM mode" but it is rarely used).
      PS4 allows you to play offline and/or trade your games.

      Which, last time I've checked, you couldn't do on Steam.

      Next gen of consoles will likely be x86 based again (likely AMD again), so technically could easily support older games. (PS4 does support PS2 games, by the way, PS3 is too different a hardware and PS4 isn't fast enough to just emulate it)

      Last, but not l

      • by iamacat ( 583406 )

        Steam supports offline play, but whatever - there is GOG like you said, and nobody stops you from buying and trading DVDs. The point is that you have choices, and can incrementally update your hardware without losing them.

  • As opposed to playing pirated games? It is quite obvious that the main attraction and main use of custom firmware is to facilitate piracy.

    I expect Sony will crack down on this as hard as they can - expect PSN bans for anyone using CFW for example. And FW integrity checks embedded into games etc. This hacked had better get himself lawyered up too. I'm sure we can also expect the usual whining from idiots on Slashdot that Sony is somehow wrong to protect its multi billion dollar investment.

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