Rumor: Hackers Crack PS3 Copy Protection

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Rumor: Hackers Crack PS3 Copy Protection



The "piracy-proof" console may not be so piracy-proof anymore.

Think back to last December, when it was revealed that Modern Warfare 2 was the most-pirated game of 2009 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/97157-Modern-Warfare-2-Was-2009s-Most-Pirated-Game]. The list of the most-pirated games included titles from the Xbox 360, PC and Wii ... but none from the PS3. Why was that? Did people just not care enough to pirate Uncharted 2? No, actually - for most of its lifetime, the PS3's unique hardware and software made it essentially immune to piracy.

That may have changed.

According to Eurogamer's Digital Foundry [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-hackers-may-have-broken-ps3-security], a company of "unknown origin" has created something it calls PSJailbreak - a combination of hardware (a USB dongle) and software that allows the PS3 to run unauthorized software. This may include home-brew games, but we all know what it'll usually be used for.

The company, which seems to be based in Hong Kong, sent samples of its PSJailbreak to popular modchip dealers, one of whom posted a video of the device in action [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IDaGne0u-4] to YouTube.

Examining the videos, the tech gurus at Digital Foundry have guessed that if the device genuinely does work - and isn't just the latest in a long string of hoaxes - it works by using the USB dongle to mimic debug equipment actually used by Sony to test production PS3s.

If true, this is disturbing news for Sony, which has been able to point to the piracy-free nature of the PS3 as one of the benefits for developers to make games for its platform. Even worse, this method of piracy doesn't seem to require any hardware modifications (like needing to "modchip" your Xbox 360 or Wii) - just software and the USB dongle. Of course, it could still be a very clever hoax, and installing strange software on your PS3 is never a very smart idea.

Pirates and mod chippers are notoriously resourceful people. If only they'd put that resourcefulness towards something actually useful for a change, like figuring out how to punch people in the face via Xbox Live and PSN.

Source: Digital Foundry [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-hackers-may-have-broken-ps3-security]

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sephiroth1991

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Dec 3, 2009
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Well it was only a matter of time, it reminds me of that ad in Bioshock "Just cos they make it hack-proof dosn't mean we're not going to hack it" It has done well to last this long maybe future developers we'll see if they can improve it in some way.
 

alrekr

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Mar 11, 2010
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most likely a hoax... install this software its completly safe, no malware at all
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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Took em a while...but, it was bound to happen eventually. All things have a craack somewhere, its just about finding it
 

ShadowKatt

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Mar 19, 2009
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Ah, I love news like this. It's always fun to watch evolution in process.

Built a better mousetrap, and you inevitably breed a better mouse. Thank you, Sony.
 

JourneyThroughHell

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Sep 21, 2009
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Well, that'll really bump up the sales of the thing in my country.

Too bad, but, it happens.
ShadowKatt said:
Built a better mousetrap, and you inevitably breed a better mouse. Thank you, Sony.
There is no reason to reprimand them. This isn't DRM, they didn't fuck over their customers making the "mouse trap", so your criticism is a bit misadressed.
 

V8 Ninja

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May 15, 2010
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Give them enough time and pirates will crack anything. It's no use trying to hack-proof something when the hackers have all the time in the world and you only have a few years.
 

JediMB

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John Funk said:
Even worse, this method of piracy doesn't seem to require any hardware modifications (like needing to "modchip" your Xbox 360 or Wii) - just software and the USB dongle.
To be fair, all you need for the Wii is an SD card.
 

Joe Kilner

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Jun 23, 2010
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If it is just a USB device, what's the bet it can be nullified with a firmware upgrade...

On a related note, if the PS3 is so piracy free, then why aren't the games cheaper?
 

tomtom94

aka "Who?"
May 11, 2009
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So long as computers basically boil down to "Work if all conditions are satisfied" then it will always be possible for hackers to fool them.

The only way to get perfect copy protection is for computers to think for themselves.
And we all know where that would lead.
 
Aug 25, 2009
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This sort of thing just annoys me, probably because I don't get piracy at all. I've never fully accepted that it isn't just stealing and I don't see why people steal luxuries like games etc. You don't need games, you just want them, and any technology that allows you to encourage an entitlement complex towards owning stuff will just keep twisting until you genuinely believe you have some sort of given right to own anything free.

It's not healthy, mentally or in a wider social context. And of course piracy does hurt the gaming industry, no matter what the pirates argue about 'striking a blow against the corporate businesses.' Even if the effect is indirect, ie. the whole DRM fiasco over Assassin's Creed II, you are still hurting the industry directly as a result of piracy.

Because I just know people are going to take offence to my Ubisoft DRM point, allow me to elaborate with this thing we call Earth logic instead of insane troll logic.

DRM was introduced as a method of countering piracy, if piracy had not been in existence there would have been no need to introduce the DRM in the first place. The counter-measures to piracy did not come first, otherwise they would be called pre-emptive measures, they came about because people pirated first. Thus this entire insane battle to try and defeat pirates vs trying to steal other people's intellectual property and hard work was in fact started by the pirates.

This is not some glorious anti-corporation striking for the working man sort of blow, this is self-entitled greedy immature people who just didn't want to pay something all those years ago when gaming first became vaguely popular.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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well that sucks I hope Sony has some way to combat these pirates from Hong Kong.
 

icyneesan

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Feb 28, 2010
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Well now at least Sony will be able to say they were Hack proof for 5 (not sure) years, though I doubt this rumor is true :p

If it is, yay! Finally some 'homebrewed' games :D
 

Dioxide20

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Aug 11, 2009
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Better benefits for owning a legitimate copy of a game = best DRM.

Trying to crack proof your console just delays the inevitable. It will always happen.
 

WanderingFool

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Apr 9, 2009
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John Funk said:
Pirates and modchippers are notoriously resourceful people. If only they'd put that resourcefulness towards something actually useful for a change, like figuring out how to punch people in the face via Xbox Live and PSN.
Oh God yes...
 

sneakypenguin

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Finally, took them long enough. 360 piracy and Wii is as simple as plugging in a usb drive and burning a disc or just running it through the HD, maybe this will prove to be as simple. Too bad I love XBL so much otherwise it would be an attractive option for all three consoles.
 

Krakyn

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Mar 3, 2009
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Well, now Sony is just going to disable the use of USB devices. Seems the easiest solution.
 

Delusibeta

Reachin' out...
Mar 7, 2010
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Funny, I thought someone had created a hack months ago, promting the removal of OtherOS, although this is probably the first time a hack was released into the wild. Who wants to bet that Sony will respond by totally blocking any and all USB drives?