PlayStation 3 hack is decryption jolt for Sony

Oct 24, 2012 by Nancy Owano weblog
Playstation 3
PlayStation 3 game console

(Phys.org)—This week brings more bad security news for Sony. The unlocking of a console, called jailbreaking, is a way that the jailbreakers get to fulfill their wishes to customize their console to run their own code and games on them. Unlocking consoles also means opening up the system with access to the inner workings of the console. Intruders can use its computing power in novel ways.

This week, hackers published one of the at the core of the security scheme locking down the game console. The bad news for Sony is mainly about the LV0 key. Game experts say publishing of the console's LV0 decryption keys amounts to blowing the system open. According to reports, compromised consoles can log in with LV0 decryption keys to bypass future .

According to Eurogamer, the disclosure of the LV0 key means that any system update released by Sony from here on can be decrypted with little effort. The team behind the publication of the LVO decryption keys is "The Three Musketeers."

They never intended to release the information, which they had discovered some time ago, but the information seeped out of their hands. The Three Musketeers said the information was in the hands of Chinese hackers intending to charge for the code. The Three Musketeers took offense that the latter would seek to monetize the hack, using the code to build and sell custom firmware, BlueDiskCFW.

In the Three Musketeers statement, they clarified that this is "neither about drama nor E-fame nor 'OMG WE HAZ BEEN FIRST', we just thought you should know that we're disappointed in certain people. You can be sure that if it wouldn't have been for this leak, this key would never have seen the light of day, only the fear of our work being used by others to make money out of it has forced us to release this now."

Reactions from security experts, however, said this may not be such a catastrophe for Sony. Its fight against hackers all along has been a cat and mouse game, they say. Past efforts to jailbreak the PS3 have been countered with the release of firmware that has been successful in making the console secure. At the time of this writing, and according to the BBC, sources close to the firm said they were not yet convinced that the latest hack was more serious than past ones.

Explore further: MasterCard, Zwipe announce fingerprint-sensor card

Related Stories

Facebook hires iPhone, PS3 hacker 'Geohot'

Jun 29, 2011

Facebook confirmed on Wednesday that it has hired George Hotz, a celebrated hacker known as "GeoHot" who was sued by Sony for hacking the Japanese company's PlayStation 3 game console.

Sony cuts deal with PlayStation 3 hacker

Apr 11, 2011

Sony on Monday said a US hacker has agreed to stop breaking into PlayStation 3 (PS3) videogame consoles as part of a deal made to drop a lawsuit filed by the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

Sony working with police on PlayStation Network hack

Apr 28, 2011

Sony said it was working with investigators after hackers stole data from users of its PlayStation Network, and told customers it would restore services only when it was confident it was secure. ...

Sony PS3 tops Nintendo Wii in Japan in March: survey

Apr 07, 2009

Sony has been given a vital boost in the battle for the multibillion-dollar video game industry, with a survey showing its PlayStation 3 outsold Nintendo's Wii in Japan for the first time in 16 months.

Recommended for you

Facebook sues law firms, claims fraud

2 hours ago

Facebook is suing several law firms that represented a man who claimed he owned half of the social network and was entitled to billions of dollars from the company and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

IBM 3Q disappoints as it sheds 'empty calories'

2 hours ago

IBM disappointed investors Monday, reporting weak revenue growth again and a big charge to shed its costly chipmaking division as the tech giant tries to steer its business toward cloud computing and social-mobile ...

MasterCard, Zwipe announce fingerprint-sensor card

Oct 18, 2014

On Friday, MasterCard and Oslo, Norway-based Zwipe announced the launch of a contactless payment card featuring an integrated fingerprint sensor. Say goodbye to PINs. This card, they said, is the world's ...

User comments : 24

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lurker2358
3.3 / 5 (18) Oct 24, 2012
They don't get it.

This actually helps the company, because now people know they could use the console for whatever they like, therefore they may be more likely to buy it.

The "Jail" protocol on everything from consoles to smartphones is a self defeating practice.

I wish somebody would learn how to hack smart phones and turn them into an open network operated solely by the users (Like two-way radio used to be). Then the service providers would be screwed.
wiyosaya
4 / 5 (4) Oct 24, 2012
Perhaps one to two years ago, an article was published on phys.org about making just such a point-to-point network from mobile phones. Unfortunately, I am unable to pinpoint the link to the article at this time.
Shoss
2.8 / 5 (10) Oct 24, 2012
I don't think that argument really works. Sure it might encourage more people to buy a PS3, but I believe Sony loses money on every PS3 sold. And if those that buy it then go on to hack it and play pirated games, there'd be a net loss since the games are where Sony really makes their money.
Lurker2358
2.6 / 5 (16) Oct 24, 2012
One of the reasons people pirate video games is because they cost a lot, and most of them suck, and since there is no return policy on movies or video games, you never know what you are really paying for until you've already installed it. But if it's already been opened the store will not accept returns, or they'll give you a trade-in value of about 1/2 to 1/10th the price, even if it's returned the next day.

Video games and movies are among the few things I can think of where a company can sell you a worthless, bugged, non-entertaining or otherwise defective product, charge the full price, and get away with it, whether or not they actually deliver what they claimed to deliver or what you were expecting to receive.

An example is Guidwars 2, for PC.

I have it installed, just bought it, bu tit is NOT what I was expecting.

The full MMO aspect makes the boss fights retarded mobs of scores of players getting one-shotted by invincible crap bosses, among other things. Very disappointing
Royale
3.7 / 5 (6) Oct 24, 2012
Although this would add to my consideration of buying a PS3, I still think I'll wait for next-gen.. or not, I really don't game much anymore (due to me having an average laptop not a self-built monster like I used to).. I'm not sure if any console, pirated games or not would get me back into it. I think as I age I'm beginning to realize the lack of any tangible knowledge absorbed via gaming.. At least with sitting on my couch watching the Science Channel, the probability of gaining knowledge is significantly increased. (Sorry for veering off topic a bit).
Lurker2358
1.9 / 5 (18) Oct 24, 2012
...cont...

And so unlike the original game, which was small groups per realm, GW2 is a big mob of players all in suicide mission attacking a big boss that kills anyone in one hit.

And for some of the individual things, it's got very clunky controls, making many of the jumps and other maneuvers in the game annoying as hell to perform.

And that is an example of paying too much. Something told me I should wait till the price went down, but no, I just "had" to have it. Well, it is not worth the release price. Better than WoW, yes, but still not worth what I paid for it.

Another thing that pisses me off about modern games, especially of the fantasy genre, is they are more and more intentionally paganized to the point that it's insane. I did NOT pay to be constantly hearing about six fictitious gods or choosing one to worship or other crap like that. I payed for a video game to play.

This is why people pirate, because they are being asked to pay to be fed a load of crap anyway.
Lurker2358
2.5 / 5 (11) Oct 24, 2012
I think as I age I'm beginning to realize the lack of any tangible knowledge absorbed via gaming.. At least with sitting on my couch watching the Science Channel, the probability of gaining knowledge is significantly increased. (Sorry for veering off topic a bit).


You are correct, most video games don't produce tangible knowledge. They produce abstract reasoning and problem solving and multi-tasking skills, usually in a fictional or fantasy setting.

That doesn't make them useless. Some of the tactics and concepts learned in playing Starcraft, were they employed on a real world situation, could end real world wars in a fraction of the time of conventional warfare. Then again, most actions in this category would be considered war crimes, even though they'd ultimately save more lives than what is lost.

I watch the Science channel and Discovery and History channels as well.
_ilbud
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 24, 2012
If Sony lose money on every Playstation sold they are insane.
Shoss
4 / 5 (4) Oct 24, 2012
Hardly insane, it is really the best way console producers can make money. Selling a console for a profit would severely limit the userbase they could then sell games and services to. Most companies do this, just google "$companyName$ loses money on each $console$ sold"
Royale
3.5 / 5 (8) Oct 24, 2012
Yea, it's done all over... read Google Nexus 7, or even Amazon Kindle before that.
Shoss
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 24, 2012
And, like lurker said, they pump out hundreds of crap games for $40 a pop that you can't return but people keep buying them anyway. That's a pretty good revenue stream.
Lurker2358
1.9 / 5 (13) Oct 24, 2012
I liked the cartridge era of gaming, because the cartridges were actually superior to disks in terms of faster load times and on-board memory for character files. In fact, on their portable game consoles, nintendo stuck with cartridges because flash technology has improved.

Anyway, in the 90's you could generally tell if a game was good or not from a few reviews. It's not the same today. Plus back then, you could also buy 10 or 20 used games for the price of one new game, and surely you'd like something in the whole lot. With modern games with pass codes and registrations and crap, especially on PC, but also consoles, it's not so easy to buy used games (and the dealer sells them almost as much as the new one anyway).

One of the problems with modern games is the graphics are pushed to absurd limits which require more and more computational power, but are already beyond the perception of humans, or that simply require more and more money to develop....driving up prices....but...
Lurker2358
1.3 / 5 (12) Oct 24, 2012
...the quality of the game doesn't go up much, if at all, in terms of gameplay.

I've played FREE online first person shooters, such as "Gunz: the Duel," which had decent enough graphics, and strictly better controls and interface than what is in GW2 that I just paid nearly $60 for, AND it was what? 6 years older!? (Maybe it was older than that, I forget).

I don't even play console games any more. I own a Wii and a Sonic the Hedgehog game that I've never taken out of the box, because I don't care to be bothered by it. Not to mention the newer controllers by Nintendo SUCK and don't have the functionality or "feel" or "power" of the older controllers on consoles from 10 or 20 years ago.
Bowler_4007
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 24, 2012
i cannot believe i saw this on Physorg first but this looks exciting, btw i cannot believe the arrogance of the group that obtained the key do they honestly think they're the only ones capable of deriving/extracting the key? how do they know that others hadn't done it before them (or after them) and decided not to publish it for fear of being sued (or some other reason)?
Bowler_4007
3 / 5 (4) Oct 24, 2012
@lurker read reviews and talk to people on forums if you're unsure about a game, better yet rent it if you can test it that way
Waaalt
1.8 / 5 (9) Oct 24, 2012
People are talking about the razor/razorblades business model. They aren't doing it out of good will, they do it because they believe it will maximize profit. They are trying to get market share and make money on licensing access to game publishers.

But Sony no longer loses money on the PS3. It's really old and weak hardware now and the cost has come way down from the scale. When they sell for a loss, it's usually only when consoles are very new. Nintendo usually makes money on their hardware right from the start.
Waaalt
1 / 5 (8) Oct 24, 2012
Piracy can help and piracy can kill. Piracy killed the Dreamcast, but it put the Xbox on the map.

Original Xbox piracy practically invented this generation of consoles. Xbox Media Center, also known as XBMC, is what they have all copied.

All the expanded features of the 360 and PS3, which are just beginning to make Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo boatloads of money and will for years to come, were pioneered by the 'pirates' who unlocked the barely tapped potential of the Xbox.

Microsoft and Sony didn't see all that potential till "pirates" showed them. Now they are monetizing it. Now they are competing with content providers like the cable companies even.
Bowler_4007
1.4 / 5 (7) Oct 25, 2012
... PS3. It's really old and weak hardware ...
the grunt the hardware has doesn't matter it fulfills a purpose, no console is designed to keep up with a PC, because it never can.

Piracy killed the Dreamcast
are you kidding? the Dreamcast was a miserable boring little console and it was doomed before it was even released, before the release of it and the PS2 my mate kept telling me it was going to bring down the PS2 and i told him the opposite, i dunno if the PS2 contributed to the Dreamcasts demise but i'm fairly certain it did because the without the PS2 the Dreamcast or an XBOX or a handheld or a retro console (Genesis, SNES, ...) were your choices but the XBOX was a tricky one though as it was M$'s first major console and no-one really knew what M$ we bringing to table without someone testing it properly and publishing a review basically the ball had to do some rolling before people knew it was worth buying
VendicarD
not rated yet Oct 25, 2012
Release a PS3 that is not locked. Make it less of a bother to purchase the hardware than to hack the hardware.

MarkyMark
not rated yet Oct 25, 2012
Dreamcast failes due to a bad graphics card with limited texture memory making it hard for games to be made for it.

Thats why itfailed....lack of decent games.
Husky
not rated yet Oct 25, 2012
Sony has bought gaikai , so that for a group of gamers they don't have to lose money on ps3 hardware but possibly come out soon with a passive streaming gaikai box and keep control in their walled garden cloud.
ScaReMoNgeRinG
1 / 5 (2) Oct 25, 2012
consoles are a waste of money,with a inferior control system , out of date hardware , systems that were lemons and died in the first week of sales, the communities of 12yr olds who mindlessly play the games with no clue what strategy is .. .. ect. ect. i could go on forever but i went strait comp ever since PS2 and never looked back other then to lol at my friends complain about game prices, and bad games, and crap support. o ya i almost forgot one more thing EA games that is all...should be renamed LGN
Bowler_4007
2 / 5 (4) Oct 27, 2012
consoles are a waste of money,with a inferior control system , out of date hardware , systems that were lemons and died in the first week of sales, the communities of 12yr olds who mindlessly play the games with no clue what strategy is .. .. ect. ect. i could go on forever but i went strait comp ever since PS2 and never looked back other then to lol at my friends complain about game prices, and bad games, and crap support. o ya i almost forgot one more thing EA games that is all...should be renamed LGN
Consoles are simple easy to use gaming systems designed for those that don't want to buy/build/upgrade a computer for gaming, computer gaming is full of issues although if you have the time, money and knowledge it does have advantages over console gaming.

Seeing as you're convinced that consoles are for 12 year olds and that consoles aren't worth the investment are you suggesting that parents financially (and perhaps technically) maintain a computer for their children instead?
Frostiken
1 / 5 (4) Oct 28, 2012
They say that they can update with a new key so it shouldn't be a big deal.

I don't get it. You can't install encrypted software without an encryption key on the receiving machine, and since there's no secure method to talk to the PS3s now there's no way to get an encrypted key on the systems, not without the key itself being unencrypted.

Unless I'm really missing something here? How would they resecure the system?