The FailOverflow hacker team revealed a flaw in the PS3 a few days ago at the 27C3 hackers conference in December 2010. Initially, Sony was not interested in commenting on the hack. However, in a recent reply to the Edge magazine, Sony has confirmed the matter saying,
We are aware of this, and are currently looking into it. We will fix the issues through network updates, but because this is a security issue, we are not able to provide you with any more details.
While Sony has confirmed the fix through a network update, FailOver believes that the hardware is compromised and no amount of software fixes can work in this case.
Pytey from the FailOver team throws light on the hack saying,
We will fix the issues through network updates, but because this is a security issue, we are not able to provide you with any more details. Applied correctly, it would take billions of years to derive the private key from the public key, or to make a signature without knowing the private key, even when you have all the computational power in the world at your disposal. The signing recipe requires that a random number be used as part of the calculation, with the caveat that that number must be truly random and not predictable in any way. However, Sony wrote their own signing software, which used a constant number for each signature.
The hack allows developers to create and sign their own apps to run on the PS3. Sony might be gearing up to fight this in court but FailOver has an upper hand in the matter being an ethical hacker.
The Chaos Communication Congress is an international hacker conference organized every year by the Chaos Computer Club of Germany. Every year, hacker teams and security analysts discuss the latest vulnerabilities, exploits and security enhancements for a variety of devices and networks. The 27th Congress, (27C3) dubbed We Come in Peacehas been going on in full flow and has attracted the best minds in the field of computer security.
One of the biggest announcements came today from the hacker group fail 0verflowwho, in effect, have completely taken control of the unhackable(until a few months ago) Sony PlayStation 3. While many alternatives exist to hack the PS3, the hackers at the conference dropped a bomb on Sony by showing how botched up the security detail on the PS3 actually is and how anyone can exploit this vulnerability with ease.
The Specifics: Apparently the randomnumber used to create every private key on the system is actually a constant number on all retail PS3s. In coding, random numbers are usually seededfor the random number generation algorith, i.e. the origin of any random value can be anything from the current time and date to the position of the mouse pointer in the X and Y coordinate system. Thus, it is well nigh impossible to calculate any randomly generated number simply because of its chaotic origin. However the (rather hippy) fail 0verflow hacker showed that, through complex math, the private key can be calculated from the static number.
What this means: The most promising consequence is dongle-less jailbreaking, similar to the PSP’s homebrew enabling software, as a coding exploit can utilize this piece of information and give the use complete control of the console.
What the future holds: Fail 0verflow have said that their primary goal is to make all PS3s run Linux. While the legacy (80GB) PS3s had this functionality, it was since withdrawn by Sony. Fail 0verflow have said that their project in no way involves piracy. Nevertheless, it is very likely that their exploit will be used for pirating games eventually. Since this breach of security is huge and so intricately lined with the innards of the PS3 firmware, it will be difficult for Sony to patch this up.
The three video presentations by fail 0verflow are embedded below.
The wait for all Sony Playstation lovers and aficionados is finally over. Sony has now officially launched the Playstation store in India. You can download full games for your Sony Playstation starting from Rs 225 for the Sony PS3 and Rs 170 onwards for the PSP (Playstation Portable) and the PSP Go. The games which you purchase from the Playstation store can be used on 5 other activated Playstation consoles.
The subscription service for the Playstation store – called the PlayStationPlus gives the users access to premium content, discounts, services and early access to beta trials and demos, free games and downloads. The annual subscription charges are Rs. 2850 and with this subscription users can avail content worth approximately Rs. 14, 000 absolutely free. There is also a 90 day subscription package for a sum of Rs. 885 in which the user can avail content worth approximately Rs. 6500 free.
Sony has just pushed out a firmware update for the PlayStation 3 which adds support for playback of 3D Blu-Ray movies. Of course to playback 3D Blu-ray movies on your PS3, users need to make sure that they have a 3D compatible TV.
Other changes in this firmware update includes :
* Facebook Integration: Developers will be able to create PS3 games that have deep interaction with Facebook. Once compatible PS3 titles are available, PS3 users can choose to access their information on Facebook including user name, profile, photos and friends list to enhance their gameplay experience.
* Grief Reporting Function: Users can send claim reports directly from the XMB for any inappropriate messages they receive from other PlayStation Network users. This feature is accessible from the option menu of the messages list in the FRIENDS category.
Users need to set their HDMI setting on Auto, and the PS3 will automatically detect your 3D supported TV and do the rest for you.
Right now, you would not want to be one of those PS3 security programmers. For years the console remained dormant without any major breakthroughs in the homebrew scene. Where its little cousin, the PSP was the hackers’ favorite, the PS3 remained in the throes of Sony’s unbreakableconsole category.
That changed with the Australian PS Jailbreak USB dongle that was released a couple of weeks ago. The gaming world was equally divided between skeptics who questioned the feasibility of the hack and enthusiastic gamers who wished to legally backupgames and run homebrew (unsigned code that otherwise cannot run on the console).
No sooner had word escaped of the PS Jailbreak dongle’s success than the internet community was rocked with the news of an open sourceimplementation of the PS Jailbreak. PS Groove is the open source world’s answer to the PS Jailbreak. Passionate hackers have released this mod in the wilds minus the ability to run backed up games or ISOs promoting on free homebrew and not piracy.
PS Groove requires a USB development board such as the AT90USBKey that is available for around $30. Following the instructions in the git repository anyone can utilize the jailbreak at home.
Rejoice homebrew community, rejoice! I personally cannot wait to get a PS3 to try all this out!
An Australian hardware modding unit called OzModChips is claiming that the PS3 has finally been jailbroken. If true, this is indeed quite an achievement, since Sony’s PlayStation 3 is a heavily locked down platform that is renowned for excellent security. The jailbreak will enable owners to back-up their games and even run pirated games.
The solution being tested by OzModChips basically requires you to purchase an USB dongle called PS Jailbreak. When plugged into the PS3 and booted, the utility present in the dongle is executed and the PS3’s security measures are deactivated. The developers are claiming that this won’t brick the system and since the PS3’s seal isn’t tampered with, warranty will also remain valid.
The final retail units of PS Jailbreak are ready and more information is available at psjailbreak.com. PSXScene is vouching that PS Jailbreak is the real deal. It will be interesting to see how Sony reacts. According to unconfirmedreports, PS Jailbreak is generated with Sony’s official SDK (Software Development Kit) that makes it illegal to share. A lawsuit or two are definitely in the realm of possibilities. However, it might be difficult for Sony to shackle modders around the world, once the cat is out of the bag.
Dragon Age Origins from Bioware was one heck of a super duper RPG. It was crowned as one of the best RPGs till now. Personally, I found it so exciting that I completed that game 10 times. As a Dragon Age fan, I was badly waiting for a glimpse of the upcoming Dragon Age 2. Finally, Bioware has released a cinematic trailer of Dragon Age 2.
The story seems to be completely new and it has no relation between Dragon Age Origins. In the video you can see new weapons, powers and enemies. The game will be releasing on 8 March 2011 on PC, PS3 and Xbox platforms. You can also preorder it now. Here is the trailer, enjoy!
Sony will be holding their press conference at E3 2010 being held in Los Angeles at 12PM PT / 3PM ET (check your local time) on June 15. This will definitely be a great press conference and you can expect a lot of new announcements from Sony.
There are rumors that Sony might unveil a new range of handheld devices in the form of PSP2. In addition to that, Sony might also refresh their PSP3 device and introduce a new one. You can also expect to see a new preview of The Last Guardian.
Sony will be broadcasting their E3 2010 press conference live online. You can watch the stream live at 9AM PT / 12PM ET. Please click here to check the local time in your region.
Ready to watch the Sony E3 2010 Press Conference? Head over to the Gamespot live streaming channel and satisfy your gaming urges. Everyone is invited and all the attendees will get front-row seats :-).
So what are you expecting from this year’s E3 2010 presentation from Sony? Do share your views and opinions with us.
Sony has recently removed the other OS support from its PS3 latest firmware and that poses as a setback for a number of industries and organizations who use the PS3’s supreme hardware in clusters as supercomputers.
Well, Sony knew that already and did not care much about its loyal customers though, included in this list of customers was the US Air Force which runs 2000 PS3s in a cluster to create a state-of-the-art and cost effective supercomputer.
The US Air Force is not happy about this move and has remarked that they are also aware of the class action lawsuit faced by Sony in this matter.
Now that this fact is released, those fighting Sony in the court will have a better standing now that the US Air Force is unofficially in their team.
The supercomputer at the air Force could compute at 53 teraFLOP and was built by Fixstars. The contract of buying these PS3s was so huge; the USAF had to send a letter to Sony making sure it could provide that many PS3 units.
Here is what USAF had to say on this,
We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand,” the lab told Ars, but “this will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail. The refurbished PS3s also have the problem that when they come back from Sony, they have the firmware (gameOS) and it will not allow Other OS, which seems wrong. We are aware of class-action lawsuits against Sony for taking away this option on systems that use to have it.
Now that they are out of options, the soon to be removed PS3s can make excellent flight simulators in training rooms.
Sony has just released its financial statement for the Fiscal year ending March 31st, 2010, and things don’t look good. The company posted a loss of $439 million, down from the $1 billion loss it faced in the 2008-09 financial year. Sales of the various Sony products were down except for the PS3. Sony managed to sell 13 million PS3s compared to the 10.1 million units in the 2008-09 financial year.
The number of PSPs sold fell from 14.4 million units to 9.9 million units. The Sony PS2 sold 7.2 million units, down by only .5 million units from the previous financial year. Quite surprising for a console whose timeis now over. The sale of games of the various consoles from Sony also fell this year. Sony sold 44.4 million PSP games, down by 5.9 million units. The sale of PS2 games saw a huge decline, going down to 35.7 million units from 2008’s 83.5 million units.
The only good news here for Sony fan boys is that the Sony PS3 has finally become profitable for the company. The profit margin will now continue to increase thanks to the shift to a 40nm Graphics card. Hopefully, the launch of PSP2 and the PlayStation Move at the E3 Expo will turn things around for the company.