Sony Trying To Play Whac-A-Mole Over PS3 Hack

from the more-you-whac... dept

You would think that Sony, of all companies, would know better than to overreact to a DRM issue — given its experience with the infamous CD rootkit a few years back. However, the company can’t seem to resist making itself look foolish. Beyond seeking to gag the guy who figured out how to get around Sony’s digital locks on the PS3 to re-enable the “Other OS” functionality that Sony remotely disabled, it’s now sending DMCA takedowns to GitHub (and possibly others) ordering them to remove repositories of code around such cracks (found via Slashdot). I’m really curious how Sony and its lawyers could possibly think all of this is a good idea. It’s not like any of these efforts will actually slow down or stop these cracks getting out there and used. In fact, all it does is call that much more attention to these hacks, and convince more people to either get involved or just to use them.

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Companies: sony

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Comments on “Sony Trying To Play Whac-A-Mole Over PS3 Hack”

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TheStupidOne says:

Of course Sony also just released a software update to plug the gaping hole in their security. This will prevent hackers from ever … sorry to interrupt my comment, but I’ve just received word that another hacker has cracked the security of the security update. It took him less than 24 hours. I’m afraid that Sony will go cry for a while before releasing another security ‘fix’ … Good luck Sony, I only hope your next update lasts a full day.

Anonymous Coward says:

And this just in – U.S. District Judge Susan Illston is demanding that “”The defendant, Illston ruled, ?shall retrieve? code ?which he has previously delivered or communicated.?”

So somehow he is to pack up all of the internet and deliver it to her by next week. And we think our judges have no idea how the internet works… *boggle*

source –

And just to be as overreaching as possible they want all of his computers, discs, hard drives and everything else remotely computer like turned over to Sony. For 100 lines of code.

As a commenter points out – Can an american judge order the sun not to rise? And will she expect it to abide?

Sony gives us a rootkit and steals other peoples code in doing so and nothing happens even as they ruin peoples computers. Guy publishes 100 lines of code and the world has to come to a screaming halt.

It was nice that they tried him in a court across the country from where he lives and actually wrote the code so they could get what appears to be a judge with no concept of what the internet is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Did anyone at Sony truly ask "What does this kid want?"

The notion that Sony and Geohot would be having this level of disputation over a Sony-developed vulnerability is almost hypnotic. I recall that GeoHot simultaneously requested a position within the company while disclosing the rout vulnerability.

In due course, Geohot will undoubtedly gain what he originally requested, but Sony’s maneuvering will likely miscarry. It will serve to show a certain peculiar side of the internal workings of the company which may steer future talent and serve to eschew future prime experts from joining the herd that is uniquely Sony.

In a broader sense, business will move forward when undertakings cease reinforcing what it is and they start inspiring what could be.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile) says:

More sales?

Most of their money comes from licensing games, not selling consoles. The theory behind the DRM is that piracy costs third party developers sales, which costs Sony the licensing fees (in addition to loss of sales of Sony’s own games).

If Sony cares the slightest about whether people homebrew stuff, they’re insane. Homebrew would only increase PS3 sales and the number of game developers that are likely to eventually produce commercial games, earning more licensing fees for Sony (see Microsoft XNA).

Anonymous Coward says:


it was because they loose money on every console they “sell” and large orders were being put in by people creating “super computers” leveraging the units together. You know evil people… like the US Military.

Every unit they sold that was used in a cluster meant they lost more money because no one would by their new game.

vbevan (profile) says:

Tax evasion?

This is what I’ve heard, can’t verify but sounds like a “Sony move”:

If it was a PC, instead of a gaming console, they have different tax laws in some countries? The OtherOS feature made it easier to pass the PS3 off as a “PC” in those countries.

Of course, tax evasion is ok, but using hardware you own how you want to, that is a big no no.

Anonymous Coward says:


You guys might be joking, but that is EXACTLY what happens. Often in these situations the hackers have several exploits ready but unpublished. When the one they are using is closed, they can release a new one very quickly, not because they are very fast, but because they already had one ready.

This happened with the original Xbox, and when it did not matter anymore (because it is not going to get upgraded again), they released on their wiki an explanation of all the holes they found, including the ones they were keeping hidden.

Rabbit80 says:

Why not give people what they want?

Rather than trying to stop the internet, why don’t Sony just reinstate the OtherOS feature, allow full access to the graphics hardware and then rewrite the copy protection system? They could make it so that existing games need to be verified online and have a new key for new releases.

Give the people a reason to use legit firmware – start introducing more features and stop pissing us off!

Anonymous Coward says:


Actually, the judge is perhaps pointing out the incredible harm that can be done by a single individual, and shows the true costs of trying to undo what has been done. It would likely cost mega-millions money to track down all of this software.

The judge got it right, it isn’t making the sun not rise, it’s perhaps finally showing just how incredibly widespread this sort of damage can be.

Anonymous Coward says:


Well then they are lucky Sony was never taken to court for installing rootkits on peoples computers with no warning, left the systems compromised and attempting to remove the unauthorized program left them with a crippled computer.

And let us not forget that Sony had no problem trying to defend stealing others code to make this all work.

Stealing someone elses work… there is a law against that… unless you give millions in “contributions”.

Track down what software? It is 100k worth of programming to defeat their system. He did not create a tool that pirated discs, he infact said he would not create such a tool. And that entitles Sony to have a looksie at every computer and piece of storage media he owns?

And there has been no damage, other than to Sony’s self inflicted wounds. They sold the PS3 with a feature, and then ripped the feature out. They forced everyone to accept this if they wanted to keep using the machine. Then they obviously failed to protect their security methods because a 20 yr old got the keys to the kindgom and can sign homebrew software as valid code.

Now if someone else takes that tool and creates something abusive that is that persons fault, not Geohots. And to imply otherwise opens the door to lets sue gun makers and bullet makers for that drive by shooting someone committed because they created the tools used.

People will always tinker, and creating a “secret” only triggers some peoples curiosity about how that works.

The difference is Sony wants the right to say you own the box and need to buy a new one when it breaks and to say you have no rights to tinker with something you own. They want the right to advertise features and then remove those features after you bought it. And somehow the idea of “stopping piracy” makes it ok for someone to sell you something and then take portions of it away.

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