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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Andrew EisenPM - Yep, that's the one.03/06/2015 - 12:53am
TechnogeekBest case, it was some marketing douchebag who thought they could pander to both sides at once.03/06/2015 - 12:49am
TechnogeekAlso, this was the mistake tweet: http://i.imgur.com/4eLWNHx.jpg03/06/2015 - 12:48am
TechnogeekBecause nothing says "open, diverse gaming community" like buddying up with Breitbart.03/06/2015 - 12:47am
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen, I believe this is the picture that you seek: http://i.imgur.com/Gdk60pa.jpg03/06/2015 - 12:30am
Papa MidnightSurely, Goth_Skunk, you say that in jest?03/06/2015 - 12:28am
prh99Craig R. Cause quite a few of them are not, they're bullies with different politics.03/06/2015 - 12:23am
MechaTama31What was the "mistake" tweet?03/06/2015 - 12:18am
MechaCrashWhatever you say, Goth.03/06/2015 - 12:02am
E. Zachary KnightGoth, they could have fooled me.03/05/2015 - 11:16pm
Goth_SkunkI don't understand. GamerGate supports an open, diverse gaming community for all as well. Google's statement is contradictory.03/05/2015 - 10:59pm
TechnogeekAnd as far as the Card thing went, I basically balanced it out personal guilt-wise by donating an amount equal to the Shadow Complex purchase price to the ACLU.03/05/2015 - 9:44pm
TechnogeekWelp, look like the Gerberghazi crowd is going to have to use Bing now. https://twitter.com/googlecloud/status/57365320825126093003/05/2015 - 9:42pm
Goth_SkunkAhh! I misinterpreted your statement about being left with almost every game in existence. I interpreted it as 'If you boycott games he's been involved with, you're boycotting almost all of them.'03/05/2015 - 9:31pm
Andrew EisenGoth - Card has been involved with only a small handful of games so if one were to boycott games for his involvement, they wouldn't be missing out on many games.03/05/2015 - 9:29pm
Goth_Skunk@Craig: Only if you're not interested in seeing it end.03/05/2015 - 9:27pm
Craig R.Instead of calling people the "anti gamergate faction", you could just call them "sane"03/05/2015 - 9:23pm
Goth_SkunkWhat do you mean 'almost every game in existence'? Card is a writer, not a game developer.03/05/2015 - 9:18pm
Andrew EisenBut I too wonder how many people who cry boycott actually follow through. I vaguely remember a few years ago a bunch of people boycotting one of the CoD games and were all found playing it on Steam.03/05/2015 - 7:53pm
Andrew EisenAn interesting quandary but not equivalent as boycotting games that Card was involved with leaves you with... well, almost every game in existence.03/05/2015 - 7:51pm
 

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