iPhone hacker George Hotz, aka Geohot, today released his PlayStation 3 "hack" - inviting other coders to pick up the baton and continue his research.
"Hopefully this will ignite the PS3 scene, and you will organise and
figure out how to use this to do practical things, like the iPhone when
jailbreaks were first released," Hotz wrote on his blog. "I have a life
to get back to and can't keep working on this all day and night."
The released hack contains details of the interface Hotz
created and sample code for adding complete read/write access to the
PS3 via OtherOS/Linux. It also explains how the hardware is used in
opening up the system. In time-honoured hacking fashion, Hotz is glitching the memory bus to effectively turn a small hole in RAM into one that encompasses the entire system.
In terms of what the hack is, what it isn't, and what it potentially leads to, Hotz himself suggests taking a look at yesterday's Digital Foundry article
about his work, which explains the relationship between his exploit and
the overall security scheme that makes PlayStation 3 one of the most
hacker-unfriendly games machine ever released.
Reaction to Geohot's work has been somewhat mixed. While it is
acknowledged that the system itself is now more vulnerable to a more
concentrated attack, many take issue with Hotz's claims that the PS3
has been "hacked", as the CELL processor's internal decryption
algorithms remain impenetrable (for now) and we have yet to see actual
"homebrew" code running within the GameOS area of the console.
"Hacking is breaking the security of the system, which I have
done," Hotz responded. "I'm not spending my time writing custom
firmware, ISO loaders, and an open SDK. Leave that to somebody else... "I didn't give up, I'm just not spending all day on it anymore. I have
other things to do. Just because I don't do something doesn't mean I
can't do it. Unlike the iPhone, there isn't a clear definition of
hacked (as in unlocked or jailbroken). This is code execution at the
highest privilege level."
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