Notorious iPhone Hacker Posts PS3 Master Key Online

Logan Westbrook

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Notorious iPhone Hacker Posts PS3 Master Key Online

Hacker dumps a security nightmare into Sony's lap, then uses the opportunity to try to find himself employment.

George "GeoHot" Hotz, who gained notoriety for his iPhone jailbreaks as well as his PS3 jailbreak [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/97780-iPhone-Jailbreaker-Hacks-PS3] from early last year, has posted what he claims to be the PS3's root key on his website. This key will give people the ability to sign their own homebrew software and have the PS3 think that it's genuine.

In a very short post, Hotz thanked the fail0verflow hacker team, who gave a presentation [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/106511-Hacker-Group-Gives-Video-Tour-of-PS3-Security-System] about the PS3's security system just last week, for their assistance with the asymmetric part of the key. As proof that the key was genuine, he offered a "Hello World" program, a common exercise when you're starting out writing code, and thanked the people behind the open-source PS3 hombrew SDK, PSLight, who had made it possible for him to release it.

It's believed, although not confirmed, that Sony will have trouble changing this key without rendering a lot of PS3 software inoperable. If this is true, then there may be nothing that Sony can do to prevent people running their own homebrew software, or playing pirated games. Hotz made it clear that he didn't condone piracy, however, and hoped that people would use the key responsibly. He also offered his services to Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft in making their next consoles secure, saying that it would be interesting to be on the other side of the fence.

Of course, the problem is that while Hotz might not condone piracy, there are plenty of others out there who have absolutely no problems with it at all. I don't know whether Hotz is genuinely hoping that people won't abuse the key, or whether he'd just trying to cover his own back, but either way, he's made it much easier for a lot of would-be pirates


Source: 1up [http://www.1up.com/news/hacker-claims-ps3-root-key]


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TheEvilCheese

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Frankly, I'm amazed it took so long.
But I don't see this having that big an effect on PS3 game sales to be honest.

I mean; look at the Wii, It is just silly easy to run pirated/homebrew games and has been for a while. Yet sales are still high enough to keep nintendo rolling in the money.
 

Logan Westbrook

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I do approve of piracy when it comes to stuff like DRM so im somewhat happy. it will be very interesting to see what comes out of this .
 

Harbinger_

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I wouldn't hire someone who just potentially cost my company millions of dollars by enabling every Tom, Dick and Harriet the option to pirate games. Some of which cost 60+ dollars in retail.
 

Autofaux

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Aaaaaand giving the unwashed pirates the keys to the castle is about the most idiotic thing someone can do.

This guy knows how to wipe his own arse, doesn't he?
 

Corpse XxX

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If the effort of copying games gets easier than walking to store, finding the game in the shelves and draw my visa in the machine, then i might just consider it..

But until then, im gonna do what i have always done, pay up fair and square.
And as long as it is easier and faster to do it the legal way, most people will do it that way im guessing.
 

Lazy Kitty

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Well, it's about time for a new console generation anyway...
That'll teach them not to try to extend the life of their console with gimmicky motion controls...
They only gave people more time to hack it...
 

Danzaivar

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How does this help pirates? Won't this key just be useful for creating new apps (I.e. Homebrew) and calling them PS3 ones? Surely the pirated games would already have their key embedded?

Admittedly someone could make a PS2 emulator for the PS3 and the PS3 would properly recognise it now, but for PS3 games I don't get it.

(Note: DRM is not my speciality, these are genuine questions)
 

ZephrC

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Corpse XxX said:
If the effort of copying games gets easier than walking to store, finding the game in the shelves and draw my visa in the machine, then i might just consider it..

But until then, im gonna do what i have always done, pay up fair and square.
And as long as it is easier and faster to do it the legal way, most people will do it that way im guessing.
And that is why piracy is such a huge problem on PC, and why most PC DRM is completely counterproductive.
 

Logan Westbrook

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95% this will be used for piracy.

Then again, Sony screwed legit consumers over by removing features from inital PS3. So without any kind of hesitation, go fucking hackers. Screw Sony over big time please.
 

Logan Westbrook

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ZephrC said:
And that is why piracy is such a huge problem on PC, and why most PC DRM is completely counterproductive.
Action -> Reaction.

DRM is a reaction to the said Action [ Piracy ]. Pirates are killing the industry they 'love' so much.
 

ZephrC

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Straying Bullet said:
ZephrC said:
And that is why piracy is such a huge problem on PC, and why most PC DRM is completely counterproductive.
Action -> Reaction.

DRM is a reaction to the said Action [ Piracy ]. Pirates are killing the industry they 'love' so much.
Why must it always be black and white good guys and bad guys? Pirates are thieves, no more, no less. They aren't the idiots sticking counterproductive DRM into games though. Publishers don't get a free pass to screw everyone, including themselves, over just because they're doing it in a moronic, ineffectual attempt to fight something that's genuinely bad.

If draconian DRM actually worked it would be a whole different story, but since it actually drives sales down the publishers are just as bad as the pirates here.
 

Logan Westbrook

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ZephrC said:
Why must it always be black and white good guys and bad guys? Pirates are thieves, no more, no less. They aren't the idiots sticking counterproductive DRM into games though. Publishers don't get a free pass to screw everyone, including themselves, over just because they're doing it in a moronic, ineffectual attempt to fight something that's genuinely bad.

If draconian DRM actually worked it would be a whole different story, but since it actually drives sales down the publishers are just as bad as the pirates here.
I think you missed a simple point in what I said. I am not saying Publishers aren't bad or they are really losing out on cash.

But if you deny that Piracy exists and Publishers unfortunatly are giving us Draconic DRM as a response, who do you really blame?
 

UberNoodle

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Now, with Ps4, DRM will be even more strict. In order to play a game you'll have to call Sony on the phone first and set up a time and date.
 

ZephrC

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Straying Bullet said:
ZephrC said:
Why must it always be black and white good guys and bad guys? Pirates are thieves, no more, no less. They aren't the idiots sticking counterproductive DRM into games though. Publishers don't get a free pass to screw everyone, including themselves, over just because they're doing it in a moronic, ineffectual attempt to fight something that's genuinely bad.

If draconian DRM actually worked it would be a whole different story, but since it actually drives sales down the publishers are just as bad as the pirates here.
I think you missed a simple point in what I said. I am not saying Publishers aren't bad or they are really losing out on cash.

But if you deny that Piracy exists and Publishers unfortunatly are giving us Draconic DRM as a response, who do you really blame?
I'm sorry! Did you miss the part were the very first thing I said was that piracy is a huge problem? And the part were I said pirates are thieves? And then the part were I said pirates are genuinely bad?

See, I thought you were replying to what I actually said instead of just assuming that because I said something critical of DRM I must love piracy, and then had your own little argument with some imaginary person. Silly me.

And who the hell ever said I denied that draconian DRM was a response? It's just an idiotic and indefensible response. It's not the pirates fault that publishers are stupid. Just because they're bad doesn't mean we get to blame them for everything wrong with the world. The publisher's stupid response is the publisher's fault.
 
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I hope in the future Sony will adopt a pragmatic attitude. Supporting indie developers on their consoles and allowing a level of homebrew access to hardware would remove an enormous impetus to key cracking projects like this.

It wouldn't get rid of the problem, but the distraction of being able to develop games would be a more effect deterent than security based on secrecy - that sort of thing ultimately only works if every scrap of code has no security flaws. And just look at the list of PSP save game exploits used to install CFW. The secrecy and security model starts cracking open from day one until something like this happens.

Removing OtherOS may not have caused this to happen but it certainly did nothing to slow it down.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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Logan Westbrook said:
It's believed, although not confirmed, that Sony will have trouble changing this key without rendering a lot of PS3 software inoperable.
And if it were any other company we were talking about here, I would just sort of shake my head and laugh, and say "But that would never happen". But this is Sony... are we SURE we can put this past them?
 

OrokuSaki

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ZephrC said:
I'm sorry! Did you miss the part were the very first thing I said was that piracy is a huge problem? And the part were I said pirates are thieves? And then the part were I said pirates are genuinely bad?

See, I thought you were replying to what I actually said instead of just assuming that because I said something critical of DRM I must love piracy, and then had your own little argument with some imaginary person. Silly me.

And who the hell ever said I denied that draconian DRM was a response? It's just an idiotic and indefensible response. It's not the pirates fault that publishers are stupid. Just because they're bad doesn't mean we get to blame them for everything wrong with the world. The publisher's stupid response is the publisher's fault.
I like that perspective, I'd like to apply that to religion but i don't think that was the point of it.

Either way I don't think that the point of him hacking the key was actually for piracy to begin with, the fact is I think he was just showing off, hence he offered his services to the games industry as both a taunt and an honest offer.

As if to say "Ha ha your security sucks, want me to fix it?" It's essentially the same premise as breaking into a bank for the sheer fun of it then walking out empty-handed.

But of course this DOES create an opening for pirates, whom, while bad, are surely not the biggest threat the games industry has ever had.