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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Dirty_Josh, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    hack

    After reading this, I'm buying a PS3 this weekend just to hack it and see what all I can do with it! If it's that important for them to cause such an uproar I wanna see what it's all about!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    TheStupidOne, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 4:23pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Grey Ferret, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 4:58pm

      Re:

      This just in!! It has been reported than yet another hacker has just cracked the still-unreleased security that Sony has only just begun development on.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Eugene (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:20pm

        Re: Re:

        This just in!! Yet another hacker has just preemptively cracked a security update that Sony only started the process of planning a few minutes ago.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Extra! Hacker cracks Sony's latest security update before Sony even thought of it. It's rumored that Sony is planning to reverse-engineer the hack to figure out how to do the actual update.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 11:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            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.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 4:23pm

    Sony

    You are going after people who can install Linux on anything...

    You are wasting your time! They are better than you! Deal with it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 4:38pm

    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 - http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/01/hacker-challenging-sony/

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 5:19am

      Re:

      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.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 1st, 2011 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re:

        Any proof of actual damage or just personal opinion?
        Hackers are not a problem. People who cheat at games are, and they were around long before this little hack. Not that your group would ever admit such.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 6:16pm

        Re: Re:

        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.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:13pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    iamtheky (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:18pm

    I cant wait until its illegal for me to still have a PS3 that has not been forcibly downgraded in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      fogbugzd (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:55pm

      Re:

      I am way ahead of you on this one. By my decree it is illegal for anyone in my household to own anything made by Sony. I was reluctant to buy sony after the rootkit incident. After the forced downgrade I don't trust anything Sony-made that connects to the internet. They are only firming my resolve with this lawsuit.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Ah-just-an-observation, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:30pm

    More sales?

    I would have thought , ignoring any DRM issues, that users finding other uses for the console would result in more console sales.

    That would be a GOOD thing for the company and shareholders, wouldn't it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:57pm

      Re: 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).

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Jay (profile), Feb 1st, 2011 @ 12:48am

        Re: Re: More sales?

        See also: Microsoft Kinect.

        Sony's really being dumb by continuing this line of reasoning. It's just making them look bad and insecure.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:50pm

    Sony should just give up and raise the price of it's consoles to reflect the actually cost of the content, and then start checking for hacked version in their online world. If you show up with a hacked box, you are locked out by serial number for life.

    End of issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:18pm

    All of this helps convince me not to buy any game consoles, and especially not from Sony. In fact, it might be a good idea to avoid buying anything from Sony.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:29pm

    Does anyone know why sony put the other os feature in their ps3 to begin with? It was probably some marketing PHB idea, for which said PHB received a bonus soon to be followed by the DRM PHB being told that it could be used for piracy. One could hear the "Oh Noes" two blocks away. The rest is history.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:37pm

      Re:

      or...
      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.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      vbevan (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 7:17pm

      Re: 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.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 8:09pm

    Sony has cemented their place on my PERMANENT ban list

    I will never buy another Sony product again. Period.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 10:48pm

    Stay classy, Sony!

    Is there any wonder why I avoid all things Sony like the plague?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Rabbit80, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 1:16am

    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!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Rekrul, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 6:20am

      Re: Why not give people what they want?

      They could make it so that existing games need to be verified online and have a new key for new releases.

      And a decade from now, everyone will have to download cracks for those games due to the validation support for them having been dropped from the servers. Great idea!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 1:32am

    Code Available Elsewhere

    The repositories they tried to block on GitHub are available on Gitorious, which is hosted in Norway, beyond the reach of the US DMCA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Grimby, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 9:08am

    I asked this question in the other PS3 post today. What should Sony do? What are their options at this point to stop the PS3 from going the way of the PSP, which was killed due to piracy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 9:30am

    Why isn't this a "bait and switch" issue with the FTC?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This