So the PS3 got pwned...

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So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby Märk » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:31 pm

It's called PSGroove, and it's an exploit that runs on a micro controller via USB on the PS3. The original exploit was called PS3Jailbreak, a little USB dongle that the developers tried to sell online for like $150, but were immediately shut down by Sony. One of the samples they sent out was analysed with a USB sniffer and was reverse engineered, then converted into an open source package that can be flashed to an Atmel dev board. The boards it was written for are basically unavailable now (sold out worldwide within days of the source being released) so people in 'the scene' immediately started porting it to other devices which have USB ports that can be programmed to work in slave mode (certain phones, THE PSP (suck on THAT, Sony!) and even ti-84 calculators) The only completed port so far is for the Nokia N-900 phone, but the PSP port might be done in the next couple days. Just to make it clear- if you have one of these things, you stick it in the USB port, run the code, and turn the PS3 on, and boom, you have lvl2. I've been paying *very* close attention for the last week or so, mainly because I very recently got a PS3. I'd like to think I wouldn't use this for piracy (the original exploit allows you to run unsigned code on GameOS with full lvl2 privileges, great for homebrew, etc., but the only 'homebrew' included with the PS Jailbreak key was a backup loader which installs and runs games from the hard drive... it supposedly uses code compiled illegally with the PS3 SDK, hence the lawsuit and court-ordered shutdown) I'd *like* to think I wouldn't, but paying 5 bucks to rent a game is $55 less than buying it. See, mixed feelings. The PS3 is a really cool console, and I don't want to see Sony just drop it altogether now that it's been hacked (yeah, they'll immediately patch the firmware to plug the hole, but what person in their right mind will update?) Sony has quite a history of playing cat and mouse with hackers (see: PSP) and has made a lot of bad decisions, but they are really in a bad position now. AFAIK, If you have lvl2 access, you have the ability to decrypt their signed code, and any further firmware updates can simply be decrypted on a compromised console and disassembled to see what changes were made. People on forums were/are joking that the next firmware will have USB disabled :lol: It's funny, because I'm sure people were saying that about OtherOS, and look what happened.

In any case, interesting times right now for those of us who love console hacking.
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby ujnhunter » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:10 pm

So... Sony can give me back my OtherOS now? kthnx!
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby Märk » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:08 pm

ujnhunter wrote:So... Sony can give me back my OtherOS now? kthnx!


I still have OtherOS on mine. I don't have PSN though... But I have no interest in online gaming (or a pantload of advertising, either)
Also, the PSP port of the exploit might be a bust after all. *sigh*
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby fluffy » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:32 am

Disclaimer (this is probably common sense but I am required to say this just in case): While I am an employee of Sony, I am speaking on my own behalf. My views do not reflect those of Sony or other Sony employees. Also, while I develop for the PS3 I am in no way involved with the PS3 systems/devtools group so I don't have any particular inside information.

Personally I'm in favor of homebrew-enabling technologies, and hopefully that's what this will mostly be used for. Homebrew would actually be beneficial to Sony in the long run; the PS3 is a pretty difficult system to program for, and if there are more homebrewers out there getting a head start on it, there will be a larger talent pool of people able to develop high-quality software for it.

I think the PS3's DRM still has a few layers which get in the way of this jailbreak thing being used for out-and-out piracy; my understanding is that this jailbreak basically turns it into a devkit which allows you to run unsigned binaries, but signed binaries are still under the same DRM restrictions as on retail units, with the added twist that you can't install PSN-downloaded game patches either. So for piracy to happen you still need to be able to strip the encryption on the binaries, which is computationally non-trivial.

Also, my understanding is that the main reason OtherOS was removed (after the GeoHot hack) wasn't to disable piracy, but over concerns of PSN online gaming becoming a cesspit of hacks and cheating, like what happened on XBox Live when the XBox was hacked. They don't want to have to start categorically banning users based on connecting from a system that was at any time using something that could have potentially enabled cheating. I do know that the removal of Linux was a very difficult decision that the system support team wanted very much to defer, and it's unfortunate that the public Sony explanation didn't convey this.
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby Märk » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:50 am

That's a very fair and level-headed attitude, fluffy.
<rant>The thing I've noticed about the PS3 is that in it's life-cycle so far, it's gone from a backwards-compatible Linux-enabled system (that was awesome) to a PS Store-centric, no more PS2 games, no more Linux drag. I mean, when I turn it on, the XMB goes directly to the PS Store. (In all fairness, the X360 does the same thing, actually worse than the PS3, but this does not make it right). OtherOS is/was a neat thing, and one of the reasons I got one. (two, actually, but my 'hacking' console only cost me 50 bucks because the BD drive is borked) I installed Yellowdog and dicked around with it for a while, but it's not a huge deal for me, personally. I *have* a computer if I want to develop software, but when you start taking away features (Like PS2 compatibility, and OtherOS) you *are* going to get a backlash. All they have done since the launch console was take away features, instead of improve the system. And calling the firmware update a "security update" is pretty insulting, at least to me; it's for Sony's security, not mine. I don't want to sound callous, but they sort of had it coming. IMO, what Sony needed to do was patch the holes in the OtherOS function instead of just knee-jerking and taking it out. Or not have put it in in the first place. Imagine if Apple suddenly removed web browsing, or the ability to play music and videos on the iPhone...</rant>

That being said, I still like the PS3, and now with homebrew it's gonna be way better.
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby fluffy » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:43 am

You can change where the system goes to at startup. I forget how but it's pretty easy to find. The "boots to PSN" thing was primarily because there weren't very many PSN sales and I think a lot of people weren't aware of how much amazing stuff there is available on PSN.

OtherOS was great for learning SPU development, but that's about all it was useful for. No access to the GPU (except through a slow framebuffer) and so on, and SPU development is a bit of a dead-end unless you specifically want to write for the PS3. These days, any cheap GPU using CUDA or OpenCL will give you far better performance (and be MUCH easier to program) if that's what you wanted it for. It does suck that it got taken away, though.

Removing the PS2 compatibility was a cost-cutting measure. Even when it was "software" BC, there was still a PS2 graphics chip. That costs money, and being a specialized chip meant it had to be specially manufactured. In this case I have to agree with the Sony PR angle on it; if you want to play PS2 games, you can still buy a PS2. Most people don't, and it would suck if the system had to keep costing $100 more to do it. It's already too expensive as it is, and Sony makes no money on the hardware (I don't think it's sold at a loss anymore, but it's certainly not at a profit).

I have one of the original 60GB ones with the full hardware BC and I find that I hardly ever use that aspect of it, and I wouldn't miss it if I lost it. Most of the PS2 games I play "regularly" play better on a real PS2 anyway, due to specialized peripherals (DDR, Beatmania).
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby ujnhunter » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:49 pm

fluffy wrote:I have one of the original 60GB ones with the full hardware BC and I find that I hardly ever use that aspect of it, and I wouldn't miss it if I lost it. Most of the PS2 games I play "regularly" play better on a real PS2 anyway, due to specialized peripherals (DDR, Beatmania).


I have a 60gb as well and I use the PS2 BC 9 times out of 10 instead of PS3 games. In fact... if the PS3 was released as it is today... the Slim model w/o PS2 BC, w/o Memory Card Slots, w/o Linux Support... I would never have bought a PS3. I'm obviously not the majority because Sony wouldn't be in the hardware gaming business if I were.
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby fluffy » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:04 pm

Then why get a PS3 instead of a PS2 (possibly with the Linux kit)?
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby Märk » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:36 pm

fluffy wrote:Then why get a PS3 instead of a PS2 (possibly with the Linux kit)?


Why do people sell their iPhone3Gs and get an iPhone4? ;)
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby ujnhunter » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:06 pm

fluffy wrote:Then why get a PS3 instead of a PS2 (possibly with the Linux kit)?


Wireless 1st party controllers, upscaling/smoothing of PS1 & PS2 games, Blu-ray movies (after my preferred HD-DVD format died), Unlimited Virtual Memory Cards for PS1 & PS2 games, and exclusive PS3 games.
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby Märk » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:47 am

Märk wrote:People on forums were/are joking that the next firmware will have USB disabled :lol: It's funny, because I'm sure people were saying that about OtherOS, and look what happened.


http://www.ps3hax.net/2010/09/sony-bloc ... ware-3-50/
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby fluffy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:00 am

So far that just seems to be a silly rumor that someone is spreading as anti-Sony FUD. Note that in the comments, people are either saying "OMG, really?!?!" or "This is silly, none of my third-party USB devices have been disabled." On the Playstation forum thread it looks pretty similar - a lot of hearsay and word-of-mouth about the "disabling" of devices which were pretty shoddy to begin with.

I don't know any official word on this stuff but it would really, really surprise me if it were the case if all unlicensed USB devices are blacklisted. It would completely break Rock Band and Guitar Hero, for example.

Also, I'm pretty sure that the "counterfeit products" notice is probably being taken wildly out of context, and that they're just doing an ass-covering move because of situations other companies have faced in the past (such as Nokia who had a bunch of lawsuits filed against them for counterfeit batteries exploding).
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby Märk » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:37 pm

fluffy, you sound like a Sony apologist ;)
Every time they do something like this (and let's face it, they do a *lot* of stuff like this) they piss off a bunch of people. That is not good PR. Sony spends more on defending against lawsuits than any potential loss of software licensing revenue due to piracy, so why do they do this? I'll tell you why; it's about control. They made an amazing machine, and due to their knee-jerk reactions to *any* possibility of losing absolute control over what code is run on it, it does about 10% of what it *could* do...

I've been following the Sony vs. GuysWhoGotButthurtAboutLosingOtherOS lawsuit, and while Sony is clearly not going to get beat on this, they are also clearly in the wrong. Using the "well we have a 10 page EULA that is not in comprehensible language that you also don't get to see until you turn the machine on for the first time and are required to accept otherwise the machine doesn't work" defense is douchebaggery at it's finest. I mean, seriously. FUCK YOU, SONY. I hope against all odds that the judge in this case passes his verdict using his conscience and orders either monetary damages *or* the restoration of OtherOS. And if judgment goes to plaintiff, (which I doubt it will, seeing as Sony seems to be above law) I predict it will be a simple cash settlement. Which will neither affect Sony (whew! dodged a bullet there, eh?!) or restore lost functionality to the console for all the people who bought it while it was being used as a selling point.

My next prediction on their shenanigans: They will lock out Blu-Ray movies that they have no monetary interest in. Or just disable the feature entirely and tell people to just download them from the PSN store.

In closing, I have only this to say to Sony: FUCK.YOU. You give me all the motivation I need to *never* support you in any way. I will do all in my power to crack, hack, pirate, circumvent, exploit, and steal all I can from you. You do not treat me like a customer, rather, a nameless revenue generator, so I will look elsewhere for support on this console. Your business practices are *evil*, and I sincerely hope your developer pool sees the light and abandons you too. Somehow, somewhere, some hacker will find a way to install custom firmware, and we will truly own the PS3, you know, like we thought we did when we bought it?
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby fluffy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:08 pm

blah blah blah
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby Märk » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:51 pm

fluffy wrote:blah blah blah


No, no, no... "blah blah blah" has been replaced with "tl;dr". Did you not get the memo? ;)
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby fluffy » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:09 am

Okay, so, look, I get a lot of shit from a lot of people who don't know what the FUCK they're talking about, and this most recent issue in particular has ended up getting a lot of vitriol directed in my direction personally, just because I happen to work for Sony.

There is no evil consortium of product overlords at Sony whose job it is to see in what way they can be evil and piss off their customers.

The reality is that there are several pressures from several directions that they need to respond to. It is really fucking difficult to balance the issues that come up with keeping developers and users happy, and it is also really fucking difficult with the issues of online gaming. Most of the recent protective measures for the console have been to protect the online gaming components from cheaters, and not so much about piracy. The very last thing Sony wants is for a few bad apples to spoil everything for everyone. Look at how horrible online gaming was on the XBox until Microsoft started banning consoles that have had unlicensed memory cards and so on, due to cheating. (There are also massive community issues on XBox Live which don't exist on PSN as well, but to be fair a lot of that is because PSN is much less popular than XBox Live.)

What most likely happened with this most recent firmware patch is that in trying to disable a tool that could very well fuck things up for EVERYONE, users and developers alike, there was probably a bug in an edge case that they didn't test for. When you have to rush a patch out and deploy it to MILLIONS of consoles, sometimes things get lost in the rush. But whenever a mistake happens, a very few but very vocal population starts to scream bloody murder about conspiracy and OMG SONY IS SO EVIL and so on.

IF there is a problem with USB converters (and I haven't seen any evidence that there actually is, just a lot of people ranting without any reason to back it up), then hopefully there will be a fix pushed out soon. But things take time, and the pressures to deliver quick fixes often override best engineering practices, and no matter what, it's easy to get caught up in a no-win situation.
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby Märk » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:27 am

Hey dude, I'm not attacking you. People like you (you know, guys who actually understand how computers work, and how to code and stuff) make people like me (you know, guys who learned the ins and outs of BASIC back in 1982, but never pursued it) kind of jealous. I don't view you as a "representative of Sony Inc.", because you aren't. I think the current situation at $onySony is interesting conversation, though. As long as no one wets their girly panties over it, right?
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby fluffy » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:32 am

Well, just remember that the products are made by people like me for people like you, and it's a very thankless task at times.
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby Märk » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:44 am

fluffy wrote:Well, just remember that the products are made by people like me for people like you, and it's a very thankless task at times.

tl:dr
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby fluffy » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:28 pm

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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby ujnhunter » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:23 am

Nice. I'd love to get my Linux back... as it stands... I'm in no man's land. No Linux and I won't update because I don't want to lose functionality with my USB game pads. Here's hoping for a Custom Firmware. Sorry fluffy, I know you love your PS3... but Sony is just screwing over people like me. They're only hurting themselves actually seeing I can't go onto the PSN Store to buy things.
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Re: So the PS3 got pwned...

Postby fluffy » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:34 am

Yeah, I know. It's not as if there aren't also people within Sony who also hate the decision that's been made. I personally hate that the decision had to be made and of course the end result is much worse than if they'd just let the security hole stay open, but the decisionmakers were forced into a bad corner.

Have you actually lost access to certain USB pads though? I hadn't heard of anyone actually losing those before - all I'd seen was rumors and hearsay.

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