Rumor: Hackers Crack PS3 Copy Protection

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Rumor: Hackers Crack PS3 Copy Protection

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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. 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, 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 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

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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.

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

Took em a while...but, it was bound to happen eventually. All things have a craack somewhere, its just about finding it

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.

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

Too bad, but, it happens.

ShadowKatt:

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.

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.

John Funk:
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.

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?

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.

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.

well that sucks I hope Sony has some way to combat these pirates from Hong Kong.

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

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.

John Funk:
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...

Resistance is Futile.

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.

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

I'm pretty sure this has already been proven fake, I'll try to find proof.

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?

God help us if pirates start downloading PS3 games now... 50 GB's just to play MGS4, sounds like fun, huh. Especially considering you can get it for 20$ from pretty much any retailer.

I guess I'll just sit back and wait for the update which disables the USB ports on my PS3.

*sigh*

sephiroth1991:
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"

Exactly what I was thinking.

I have noting to say about this till I have confirmation if this is true.

I don't want to worry anyone, but someone named "Sony" just remotely fired my ion cannon at some random location. If you live anywhere near...*looks at nearby screen*...the moon I'd suggest putting sunglasses on. Its pinpoint, so there will be no collateral damage but you know...it'll be a bit bright.

John Funk:

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.

Whoever develops that kind of technology I will love them forever and ever.

I'm doubtful, especially if it's just a software thing, how long before Sony releases an update to make it useless?

Lol.. i would at times pay big money to be able to punch someone in the face through PSN..

But if crackers/hackers spent an extra hour or two at work a week then they would not have the need to hack, as they would have enough money to buy a proper game..
Then again, im guessing they mostly do it for sports and bragging rights.. meh..

John Funk:

If true, this is disturbing news for Sony, who 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.

That's what my concern would be: I bet that anyone who uses one of these will see their ps3 brick in a few months.
However I'm not one of those people who's going to look down on anyone who tries this as it's probably the only way you can get your ps3 to really do everything.

I'm not saying the ps3 (and 360 for that matter) are overpriced but... Well, I am but they aren't as overpriced as most of the games out there. It used to be that gamers with little money could buy used games: most of the used ps2 games I got were $10 or less, including really great AAA - got Vice City with the strategy guide for $7 and that was only maybe a year and a half after release. That was one of the few games worth $50 but my point is that used games gave a good discount then. Now, after gamestop has thoroughly gouged the market, most used games are usually less than $10 off the new price; at gamestop you'll be lucky if you get $3 off the new price.
My point is that with no legal means to get cheap games, I see a lot more of the gamers with little expendable income getting into piracy.

The best way to combat piracy (without resorting to pr damaging moves like bricking consoles) is for them to lower prices of games. That's what the movie industry did with dvds. Since the prices dropped I've seen a lot less of those guys selling bootlegs on the street. Lowering new prices would probably also help stem used sales too.

Krakyn:
Well, now Sony is just going to disable the use of USB devices. Seems the easiest solution.

And then we get to watch the people already suing over OtherOS enjoy even more reason to fleece Sony for all they're worth. Yay! :D

Even if it does work, and even if applying the device and its software to the PS3 is fast and easy, it still won't create a massive amount of piracy on the console, and certainly not the level of piracy the Wii and 360 have struggled with. The reason for this is simple:

To mod a Wii, all you need is an SD card and the ability to follow simple instructions. Everyone has an SD card, even your grandmother. The games (a mere 4ish gb in size) are then burned on simple, run of the mill DVDs with any old burner & burning program.

To mod a 360, all you need is the ability to follow simple instructions, although it does involve popping off the case of both the 360 and your computer. The games (a very managable 7.5ish gb in size) are burned easily on cheap dual-layered DVDs, and just about all modern DVD drives can burn to them.

Now, to mod a PS3, you'll need an imported piece of hardware, which will obviously cost you money. You'll need a blu ray burner, which are still uncommon and pretty expensive (200+ USD). You'll need to download or rip the games, which can be huge - between 20 & 50 gb. Blue ray discs themselves aren't cheap, especially not the dual layered ones.

All in all, with the amount of money it will cost you to be able to start burning and playing pirated PS3 games, you could quite easily buy a sizeable collection of real PS3 games, and not risk being banned from PSN/sued by anyone. You could probably make the trip to your local store a whole bunch of times in the ungoddly amount of time it would take to download & burn a 50gb game.

It's taken this long to crack it? Hot damn Sony. Nice work. o__________o

Marter:
I guess I'll just sit back and wait for the update which disables the USB ports on my PS3.

*sigh*

I doubt they'll take it that far. You'd be unable to charge the controller otherwise. They might just make it you can't use USB devices that don't have a Sony license.

MelasZepheos:
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.

By definition, piracy isn't stealing. Stealing something is to take it away from the owner. Pirating software creates an entirely new copy that generates no direct loss.

Still illegal, mind.

That said, if (hypothetically) I have no intention/means of ever buying some game, and I pirate it instead, where is the harm? The industry wouldn't have gotten the money for it even if piracy didn't exist.

FargoDog:

Marter:
I guess I'll just sit back and wait for the update which disables the USB ports on my PS3.

*sigh*

I doubt they'll take it that far. You'd be unable to charge the controller otherwise. They might just make it you can't use USB devices that don't have a Sony license.

You could still charge it on any other USB outlet. I usually charge on my laptop anyway, as the cable is too short to use the PS3 for that.

It was more intended as a joke anyway, especially after they removed the "Other OS" feature. >_>

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