Saturday, May 21, 2011

Better safe than Sony

In 2006 Sony released the Playstation 3 (PS3). It soon became the best way to play blu-ray discs. Part of this was because the PS3 could easily connect online to download firmware updates so that it could support newer blu-ray features as the specification evolved. The other reason was because PS3 has no gaems.

The PS3 had the ability to run Linux using the OtherOS feature which was nice because it was like a mini super computer. The US military was using many of them to form a super computing cluster and many distributed computing projects like Folding@Home used them to run simulations of protein structures to try and understand them more and possible cure certain diseases. All this came to an end when Sony removed OtherOS feature because they were scared of piracy.

A hacker, who is well known in the jailbreaking scene, known as Geohot decided to bring back the OtherOS feature. He sought to allow PS3 users to reenable a functionality that Sony sold them. Sony didn't like this at all, they didn't like the fact that people could do their own things to their hardware that they bought. So they decided to launch a lawsuit against Geohot.

Now they didn't go into court, they settled things privately out of court, but Sony did manage to get records of Geohot's paypal account, IP addresses of anyone who interacted with him on youtube, facebook and other places including his own geohot.com website.

Meanwhile the online collective known as Anonymous decided to DDoS and take down Sony's website playstation.com and the Playstation store. And while Sony was busy with that another hacker group managed to break into PSN and steal lots of personal information about its users. This caused the lengthy downtime which meant that people couldn't play Portal 2 when they bought it on Steam. Some sources say that the downtime was due to piracy thanks to a cracked developer console. Sony took a week to notify customers that their personal information had been stolen and that they are at risk of identity theft.

All of this happened because of Sony's lawsuit against a hacker. They angered the hive and it fought back.


Sony has previously released CDs that would install a rookit if played on a Windows PC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geohot#Hacking_the_PlayStation_3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Computer_Entertainment_America_v._George_Hotz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Network_outage

28 comments:

  1. lol sucks to be sony right now

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  2. booooo consoles

    I love my PC <3

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  3. Well you don't claim it's unbiased :p but definitely an interesting read, especially the rootkit part.

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  4. That is a title worthy of a headline.

    I feel like Sony should've been more careful about antagonizing, you know, HACKERS. The one type of person who can seriously damage their business.

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  5. Sony needs to straighten things out if they want to keep in the gaming market.

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  6. this is the danger of cloud computing and distributed security

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  7. sucks to be them right now, right?

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  8. It is amazing, like a 21st century war! also, very clever title!!

    You can visit my blog here.

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  9. Well, I've heard bad things about Sony's profits this quarter... but we'll see

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  10. Good review, i will check this link.

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  11. I seriously love that saying. "Better safe than Sony"

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  12. People need to stop attacking anonymous, they don't do anything to bad until they get poked by lawyer or "security expert"...

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  13. haha i love the title :P very clever. good post

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  14. Great post, finally got to the bottom of all this confusion

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  15. I just lost all my respect for Sony after reading this.

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  16. hah we won overall against them
    anonymous is legion

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  17. those ps3 supercomputers are amazing, so much processing

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  18. greedy SOBs. Sony has enough money from their overpriced crap.

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  19. I never knew you could run Linux on the PS3...still hats off to Anonymous (lol)

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  20. hah! sux to be them... watcha gonna do though .-.

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  21. This is great insight to the situation. I could never get a full grasp of whats going on so thanks for sharing this. I heard rumors that the hackers of today are on just another level. Going to follow

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  22. lets see some more posts =D

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  23. I LOVE IT!!! Better safe than sony all the way

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