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Home Hacked

| 17 Dec 2008 15:40
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Less than a week after it launched, reports are coming in that users have hacked Home, Sony's virtual world for the PlayStation 3. Yeah, that really was quick, wasn't it?

A report in the Telegraph says vulnerabilities in the code have allowed enterprising Home users to customize the online world beyond the basic options provided by Sony. One hack makes use of the Apache web server and DNS redirection to allow users to play movies on virtual display screens and to change in-world text and music to anything they want. Users can employ a different hack to download any files they want from the Sony server, including the profiles and avatars of other users.

Of greater risk, however, is the ability to upload files to, or delete files from, Sony's Home servers. The report says such vulnerabilities expose Home users to viruses and other malicious software, and also leaves Home itself open to attacks which could force it offline. The report suggests Sony may open the platform to legitimate third-party development to provide an official and controlled channel for such "tweaking," and also to help build a more robust Home "ecosystem."

Bit-tech.net says advertisements in Home have been specifically targeted by hackers who have replaced standard posters with images of their own, providing a link to YouTube footage that purports to show the results of one such hack. Instructions for this "easily repeatable" mod have been posted online, but you'll have to find them for yourself, you dirty hacker.

Home went into open beta on December 11, and was immediately attacked for being outdated by Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg, who said, "When they unveiled it, it seemed innovative. I think what's happened is now here we are a couple of years later and we feel beyond that. It feels like 2005 tech in 2008. I'm not sure that's what people want."

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