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.

 

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

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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E. Zachary KnightInfo, or they could have left it only for people in your friends list.05/26/2015 - 7:21am
Infophileas being "family friendly." A kid could easily flip an option and be hit with a torrent of abuse they weren't expecting.05/26/2015 - 5:30am
InfophileI think Nintendo was between a rock and a hard place with voice chat in Splatoon. Leave it in, and jerks will drive off younger players. Leave it out, and competitive players won't play. Even if it were in but disabled by default, they couldn't sell it...05/26/2015 - 5:29am
Matthew Wilsonthis is a nice video on P.T https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-85jO6nRNQ05/25/2015 - 11:57pm
Matthew Wilsonmaybe, but its still kinda sad even as a joke.05/25/2015 - 11:51pm
Goth_SkunkThe best commentary is delivered through humour.05/25/2015 - 11:36pm
Andrew EisenIt's not needed. It's a joke. Albeit one with quite a bit of commentary packed into it.05/25/2015 - 10:59pm
Matthew Wilsonmot game related, but still interesting. http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/25/8654983/jurassic-world-chris-pratt-apology the fact that this is even needed in modern culture is a embarrassment.05/25/2015 - 10:26pm
Matthew Wilsonyeah, but with no voice chat its doa.05/25/2015 - 9:48pm
TechnogeekYet, you're going to be hard-pressed to find anyone other than insecure 2EDGY4U teenagers seeing it as anything other than an extremely fun game.05/25/2015 - 8:36pm
TechnogeekSplatoon's probably the best example at this point. Gameplay-wise, it's a team-based third-person shooter with a significant online component. It's rated E10.05/25/2015 - 8:36pm
TechnogeekThe silliest thing about most of the Nintendo hatred is that they may be the last company that interprets "family-friendly" as meaning "fun for more than just the really young kids".05/25/2015 - 8:33pm
ZippyDSMleeWell it could be worse, like skyrim out of the box, a shame DAI dose not have that level of editing...05/25/2015 - 5:58pm
Zenpretty well without getting "nasty". Many people are disappointed in the decision and the about face on the status of the games development.05/25/2015 - 4:22pm
ZenEvery market has horrible people...but being like this towards all of them in a group is not a way to garner support and can make people more hostile towards you. Ironically his response was to someone that wanted to state a disagreement, but worded it05/25/2015 - 4:22pm
Goth_SkunkAs demonstrated by Ian's remarks, that 'market of possible fans' is apparently negligible.05/25/2015 - 4:18pm
Zeninformation while other versions had everything talked about openly.05/25/2015 - 4:15pm
ZenYeah, I've read through it and wanted to make sure I had it quoted correctly. I get there are issues, but this is horribly unprofessional and just burning a market of possible fans..many of which supported them and were waiting while getting little to no05/25/2015 - 4:15pm
Goth_SkunkOh wow. That's not even misquoted, he actually said that. Though for additional context in previous pages, he truly does not think highly of Nintendo console owners, and claims that in the industry, he's not alone.05/25/2015 - 4:12pm
ZenI also took a screenshot of the statement in case it is taken down (via my Twitter): https://twitter.com/zenspath/status/60293960536562483205/25/2015 - 4:05pm
 

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