As the PS3 Turns..

February 2, 2011 -

A number of happenings related to the PS3 have occurred since the last time we wrote the story about Sony's court action against George Hotz - what follows is a brief rundown of events.

The Examiner and Ars Technica reported that the recently released firmware may have - at least temporarily - broken some stuff. The report points to a problem with the original and the Slim models of the PS3 not being able to upgrade to a new hard drive. According to several users on NeoGAF and HighDef Forum, the 3.56 firmware prevents the newer PlayStation 3 models with 16 MB flash from being upgradeable to a new hard disk drive.

The models include the Original PlayStation 3 Models - CECHH, CECHJ, CECHK, CECHL, CECHM, CECHP, and CECHQ. Slim PlayStation 3 models having trouble include CECH-20..A, CECH-20..B, CECH-21..A, CECH-21..B, CECH-250.A, CECH-250.B, CECH-250.A, CECH-250.B, CECH-251.A, and CECH-251.B. This is apparently an old bug that was eventually fixed, but accidently reintroduced by Sony. Other reports indicate that this problem has already been fixed.

Both CV&G and Gamasutra reported earlier this week that code sharing site Github was forced to take down seven custom firmware files shared by three different users. This was done at the behest of Sony who sent the web site a DMCA takedown notice. The takedown of these files took place a day before a California judge granted Sony a temporary restraining order against PS3 jailbreaker George Hotz.

A Neograf thread, fueled by an IRC conversation from developer and hacker "Mathieulh" (found on JailBreakScene), speculated that firmware 3.56 contained a rootkit that allowed Sony to scan specific files on any PS3 connecting to PlayStation Network. With the ability to scan for specific files, Sony could use this "back door" approach to detect and then ban users who have customized firmware on their consoles. This is a method similar to the one used by Microsoft to detect compromised Xbox 360s.

The Register reported that hackers had already managed to compromise the latest firmware release. On the same day 3.56 was released game console hacker Youness Alaoui (aka KaKaRoToKS) claimed via twitter that he was releasing tools to unpack the files,. These tools allowed him to uncover the new version's signing keys. Alaoui only released the signing keys for 3.56, which were hosted at Github. Naturally these files can be found somewhere on the internet if someone looks hard enough. A customized version of firmware 3.56 has not been released yet.

Finally, Edge reports that homebrew developer Mathieu Hervais calls Sony's efforts to plug the security hole created by hackers "too little, too late."

"3.56 was more of a patch to save what's left to be saved," Hervais told Edge. "Indeed Sony fixed everything that could have been fixed. The reality though is that this is only a minor drawback."

"New keys were introduced in the 3.56 Firmware and code that is not whitelisted is now forced to use those keys. However, since the boot chain integrity is compromised it's always possible to reprogram externally the NAND/NOR chips (where the firmware code is written to) to run unsigned code again."

"No matter what they do, a 3.56 (and onward) custom firmware is possible on all PlayStation 3 consoles manufactured so far. The people Sony hired made several kindergarten mistakes while implementing their security."


Comments

Re: As the PS3 Turns..

 I F'n Hate you hackers. Seriously, you're like a plague. Completely pointless, but always making life miserable for the rest of us.

Re: As the PS3 Turns..

Yeah those hackers are huge assholes! Especially since they use their high-priced lawyers to sue everyone into oblivion! Oh wait... that's Sony.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: As the PS3 Turns..

Right... That made sense.

How dare people use hardware they have purchased in a legal manner other than which is dictated by it's creator. How dare we!

Re: As the PS3 Turns..

The people Sony hired made several kindergarten mistakes while implementing their security...

LOL. Instead of suing them, maybe Sony should consider to hiring them.

 

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Re: As the PS3 Turns..

Sony is a huge company and large companies tend to not think very clearly.  Dying companies tend to dumb things like sue first instead of doing smart things like negotiating and firing lousy programmers to replace them with good programmers.

- Left4Dead

Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

Re: As the PS3 Turns..

"Sony" and "rootkit" in the same article.

This can only end well.

Re: As the PS3 Turns..

This only means they can detect and ban people on PSN like MS does with XBL.  Even so, custom firmware could be written to send back the proper response to the PSN server with enough investigation.  The entire thing is compromised.  This isn't going back in the bottle, Sony.  :P

 
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Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
 

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