Pirates Rejoice as PS3 “Cracked”


An individual is claiming to have finally cracked the PS3’s formerly invincible copy protection system.

Although he claims to have cracked the hardware, he admits not yet having cracked the software, so a usable application is presumably some way off, if possible at all.

The cracker in question, identified as “geohot” (or George Hotz) and already well known for his previous exploits, explains:

I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I’ve also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip.

3 years, 2 months, 11 days…thats a pretty secure system

Took 5 weeks, 3 in Boston, 2 here, very simple hardware cleverly applied, and some not so simple software.

As far as the exploit goes, I’m not revealing it yet. The theory isn’t really patchable, but they can make implementations much harder. Also, for obvious reasons I can’t post dumps. I’m hoping to find the decryption keys and post them, but they may be embedded in hardware. Hopefully keys are setup like the iPhone’s KBAG.

The cracker was previously involved in “unlocking” the iPhone’s protection in 2007, so although any actual proof of his accomplishment is entirely lacking, he is at least relatively credible by way of former deeds.

Hopeful pirates (or “backup and homebrew enthusiasts” as the facile euphemism has it) have wasted no time in celebrating the possibility of finally getting free games on the PS3, though whether a usable modchip emerges from the hack remains to be seen, as does Sony’s response.

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  • The PS3 is not cracked yet. With this hack they can pass the hypervisor and have direct access to memory.

    Which is encrypted by the way.

    The encryption keys still remain safe within the hardware and there is no easy way to access them. It’s all part of the security scheme of the Cell processor.

    Geohot got pretty ahead of himself and claimed to have hacked the PS3 when all he did was having a little fun programming on OtherOS.

    Don’t expect for modchips or playable pirated games anytime soon.

    As for homebrew, there’s actually a decent amount of it, including mame compilations.

  • Well, people had arrived before where he is now, there is where the problem begins – then before the problems with ripping and burning BDs that could be read by the PS3 – he must write software to skip the checking procedures of the firmware withouth briking it and risk to have his work trashed by a firmware upgrade (that Sony could just force people to do making it a requeriment to play new games, and make them weekly).
    I have my doubts that Sony will let this last after the PSP fiasco, and wont be surprised if he receives a letter/visit from their lawyers in the next weeks.

  • its still a luxury either way. blurays are fucking expensive. drives included.

    i’m fairly sure tho that its not $60 here. its something around $80 i think. sucks but still cheaper. seeing as the only game i’d be playing is srwps3, i’d just import and play.

    i wanna see it hacked tho, i need my codebreaker fix for lulz

  • i just hope it wouldt be like psp with constant firmware update to stop pirating. i will run out ro buya ps3 if it is cracked.

    her it cost £49.99 for a new game, thats $79. and minum wage is £5 i think. so for 1 game you need to work 10 hour!!!! thats not entertainment!

    • You seriously need to stop whining.
      Around where I live, it takes 1/3 of your monthly earning to buy one of those games.

      All the cheapos like you make those of us who really don’t have an alternative look bad.

  • Hm. So, the ultra-amazing, super-impenetrable, hyper-invincible PS3 has finally been cracked? Nothing stops hackers. What do you have to say about that, Voice?

    Mysterious Voice: “It’s still better than the Xbox.”


    Mysterious Voice: “For one, Micro$oft will actively stop hackers. Sony hasn’t. And I don’t think we need to go over the RROD.”

    First of all, that’s an old argument. Secondly, that thing’s blown widely out of porpor-

    *gun fires*

    • And this Hack lasted only a week, nothing more.
      uh? voice?

      Pirated Vocie : “Yeeeees and the 360 was pirated the same day in launched and its still prated since and will always beign pirateeeed, the Powerful Ps3 was pirated once, for a week, thats it”


  • You guys are fuciking retard or plain stupid.Do u think sony wont put out a patch and fk counter this when it happened? you guys are fucking dead brain.And FFXIII haters? fuk u all.Play the game urself be4 making some shit judgement because some amateur 2ch rate the game.You guys fail.Go and watch some girl in bynnu costume get fuk asshole.RETARD people jeezzz…

  • There is no point in pirating PS3.It’s been 3 years and there’s about 10 good games for it. I have a PS3 and I have 7 games. I have a 360 and I have 58 games for it! I’m neutral in this console war, but this is how I stand.

  • As far as I see it, it still isn’t fully cracked, as he has still not figured out the security system, he just partly bypassed it through some hardware extensions.
    As far as I remember Sony already stated in the past that the security is a software hardware combination on all levels.
    He bypassed the hardware, so now he has to get his hands on the software, problem Sony will be fast in closing these holes, after all they even anounced a reward for the person able to hack the ps3.
    A problem would be that new games will always need the newest firmware and have it on the disk and force you to update your system.

    • Sony will not be closing anything unless they mass-replace the current gen PS3 consoles, which is more expensive than leaving piracy alone.
      And as for software restrictions… well we’ve all seen how good they work when you have complete access to the hardware. Most software copyright protections take about 1-2 days to crack. The tougher ones can take up to a month.
      When you have complete access to the CPUs, the rest is trivial for a person who is comfortable with assembly languages.

      But I’m sure you know much more about the PS3 than the person who spent 5 weeks hacking it.

      • Probably not, but he himself stated that he still hasn’t figured anything out, but for you to feel comfartable I can tell you something that this person doesn’t seems to know, the CellBE in each PS3 is marked with a certain number if this number is changed or anything happens to it you will never again be able to connect to PSN.

        • Assuming that this hardware hack modifies the identifier, and assuming the original it cannot be recovered and spoofed.
          First Say hi to my packet sniffer.
          With r/w access to the CPU, it’s pretty easy to make it do pretty much anything we want, such as emulate the software to respond with the original identifier.

          And even if it cannot, pirates are getting the product they paid for, so it’s really rather natural to deny them online play. This has been the case with PC gaming for a long time now. Is this a nail in the coffin for piracy? It sure wasn’t for the X-Box.

  • Even if piracy is possible on the PS3 right now, it seems like a whole lot of trouble. Why bother? Most games are multiplatform. The Xbox360 is already hacked and it’s much cheaper to burn dvds. Sure you can’t go on Xbox Live, but there’s no guarantee Sony will turn a blind eye when pirates start appearing on PSN anyway.

    Unless you really must pirate those few Sony exclusives, this PS3 pirate thing sounds like an exercise in stupidity. Is there even enough good Sony exclusives to justify buying a Blu-Ray burner?

    Moreover, without its own backward compatibility, I don’t see how pirated PS2 games can be played on a hacked PS3.

    • What expenses? If the PS3 gets hacked, you can just run games from the HDD.

      And, as for the X-Box, you will still need to buy a new one every time it RRODs, since as you are probably painfully aware, modchips void warranty. Even if you add the price of BR burner and disks.

      Now if your ISP is taxing you per GB, then you obviously have other issues.

      • I’m sure even using some simple hardware to crack your PS3 will also void your warranty.

        Also, you’re assuming you’ll be able to run games from the harddrive. It’s probably much further away than running them from burned discs, which is plenty far away by itself. See you in two years maybe.

        • Yes, it will void the warranty. But hacked PS3s wouldn’t have to be replaced every 6 months either.

          A modchip allows loading executable code in the CPU from unauthorized sources. Once the first defense is down, it’s just a matter of writing a short loader.

  • I hope I don’t get negative ratings from other posters but I really do like that PS3 had such a secure system to be honest.
    If I where to be able to download everything I’d simply have to many games to actually enjoy them.

    That’s how I feel on PC at least.

    So even if the PS3 can read copies of games or not it would still be a much appreciated thing to run some homebrew apps.
    Think of it. Running PS2 games on the PS3 slim by enable popsloader and also override region restrictions.

    I hope PS3 will be able to run homebrew in a not to distant future.

  • In regards to comments on this post… No it’s not cheaper to buy the games. If you’ve seen one for yourself rather than try imagine a ridicule-able, you’d know.

    Hint 1: Rental store / internet
    Hint 2: HDD
    Hint 3: USB

    • If the guy has enough money to risk permanently damaging his PS3 and voiding any warranty it may have, then I’m pretty sure he’s not doing it for the free games.

      You see, most people involved into breaking copyright protection schemes (ie, groups like Razor1912, DEViANCE, UNLEASHED, etc…) are doing it as a hobby. In fact, most of them don’t want to see their games available to the masses, since that draws heat from the copyright nazi.

      • Three years for teh intarwebs to finally have someone be successful. Fact is people will have been trying to hack the PS3 as soon as it came out in stores lots have people have been trying it all this time, but I’m sure no one spent 3 years actively and constantly trying.


    Honestly, I look at my hacked up Wii and it’s fun and all, but it’s just a system with a hard drive. I look at my PS3 and I see a lovely stack of video games next to it. Such a nice sight. I’ve even imported games I want that are only available on the PSN in this country. I like owning a physical copy of the game…

    • Nothing prevents you from continuig to buy the games.

      For example, I buy records or tapes with music. I also borrow records and copy them to a cassette or a reel to reel tape. I like that my music is in a physical format unlike mp3s in a hard drive (I also have a big collection of mp3s, but they get used less than the tapes and records; I still keep them because I have a policy not to delete any media file – if my hard drives are full, I’l write some files to LTO tape (computer data tape, LTO1 holds 100GB LTO2 holds 200GB per tape).

      I don’t have a game console and I rarely play games on my PC anymore, but this is stil good news that the PS3 security was cracked. Took a lot of time though.

  • good job but it’ll probably be hell to get a workable chip or software mod that doesn’t brick your system after a firmware patch. blu-ray burners are far off from becoming mainstream anytime soon, so I’m not expecting bootleg ps3 games for awhile but if they can make backup ps2 games work that don’t run like crap, then that’s money.

  • Barbarian of Gor says:

    I’m impressed if this technological achievement is done. Also, with Sony for making a system that took years to hack as opposed to mere hours or days.

    My “Hack” on the “System” is just to wait a few years, then buy the systems used and the games discounted as current users get scalped hawking their games for some of the cost for the entry level for the new one…

    Although I love the “Tan” image I disagree with it…

    If the Game systems were women:

    The PlayStation series would be above average beauty women who were very conservative and set in their ways. Like a non-slutty Bayonetta. She’d love one man passionately, but turn into a slightly domineering “Soccer Mom”. Regular schedule, chores, sex on the weekend missionary style all the time. She’d also age VERY slowly so you’d see her mother and grandmother and they’d still look good. And Playstations don’t crash (outside of getting physically crushed) so when you went through RL RROD (like a layoff) she’d be with you for game after game and very supportive.

    The X-Box would be a drop dead gorgeous “Super Model”. She’d take you through a wild ride through Heaven and Hell and back again and back down again. She’d have wild, hot sex and be so kinky she could make a famous French writer blush. “That was the hottest sex I’ve had since Grade school, darling! But next time let’s try…” She’d be taking you to Paris to fuck on Jim Morrison’s grave, on your credit card, what WAS that career/job you thought you had… She’d be breaking into a church at 3 am, dragging you into it and you and her would be fucking on the altar, then you’d find the priest had discovered you but instead of calling the cops just put on a goat mask and wanted anal sex with you while you fucked her, and he’d known your G/F before. “Ah! My son! Don’t worry I am wearing a condom ribbed for your pleasure, you do not know where I have been! I met this young lass years ago, thinking her a runaway boy, and she gave me the shock of my life! But she brings me hot men to enjoy. Now! Praise Baphomet! Praise Baphomet! Praise Baphomet!”

    Of course she’d also ditch you in NYC for a rather muscled black person, then come back crying he’d tried to Pimp her “and on the STREET, not some high class gig!” and get you to fight him. She’d crash regularly and you’d be trying to stop her from slashing her wrists, ignoring that most of your possessions and your clothes were on fire in the bathtub and you’d have to bind her wrists and take her to the hospital wearing the Fursuit she’d brought home that mostly fit you. But you’d on top of all of this dread the “RROD” mode where she’s either catatonic or trying to cut your dick off. And if you managed to find her mom, she wouldn’t be a pretty sight and don’t ask about her mom’s mom, just not in the picture…

    BTW-Notified a local gaming store about the “RROD-Tan” they were almost on the floor laughing. It’s absolutely true in RL, close to 50% failure/warranty issues. They’ll probably use the picture in in-store ads: “X-Box. Make sure to get your extended warranty. You won’t regret it.”

  • I would rather that a crack be available for the PS3 slim to allow PS2 playability, transfer and play .iso files on PS3, and maybe even play PSP games on PS3. that would be really sweet. as for PS3 games, I’d rather just buy them since it’s not feasible to buy burner and discs just to burn some games that you use all of your download bandwidth to get.

  • BlackEpsilon says:

    I’m surprised no one said something about pressing the square and circle button on that girl in the picture. Or that iPhone thing in the background.

    I lol’d.


    Why is Xbox all tiny and PS3 so buxom? I’m a PS3 man myself but still…wut?

    • well there are a few people who want backups which would mean they buy both the game and the burner and discs. I myself would like to have backups to play on and keep the originals safely put away just in case.

      • I’m not fully sure about that, look at it this way.
        On newegg I found the cheapest blu-ray burner that cost 190 US Dollars, and for 50 blu-ray Dual Layer disks cheapest I found was 330 US Dollars.
        A grand total of 520 USD.
        Now lets assume that you only bought new games for the PS3 at 60 USD (minus sales tax), you could buy 8.666666… (we will just round up) 9 games before the you would started making money back on your initial purchase of 1 burner and 50 blank media disks.
        Now your saying to yourself, “How do I get 9 PS3 games without buying them?” As I see it you have 2 options: download the games, or rent the games.
        If you download the games you will need a fast internet connection, but if you don’t have a fast connection you will take forever to finish the downloads. However it cost a lot of money to have fast download speeds. Lets say you find a fast internet provider for 60 bucks a month for 12 months that’s: 720 USD on top of 520 USD you spent on blank media and burner for a grand total of 1240 USD. You would need to download 21 games to start making money back on your investment.
        If you rent games from lets say an online rental store like gamefly, you will pay 37 USD a month for 4 game rentals at a time, over 12 months that’s 444 USD, added with our 520 USD that’s a grand total of 964 USD. You would need to rent 16.0666666… or 17 games before you would be making money back on your investment.
        (I don’t support or condemn pirating media, I’m only looking at it from a economical/math problem. Which I’d figured I’d share.)
        Thank you for reading!

  • Doods, if we could get .mkv (along with h.264) support, along with better PS2 emulation stuffs… that would win. I’m tired of sony screwing that up.

    as for pirated games… well, it being blu-ray is still some time off, although by the end of the console’s life it’ll be a possibility. Now -PS2- piracy ON the PS3… that’s exciting.

  • Brilliant. Now I might have an excuse to buy one.
    Since “Final Travesty 13” is turning into a joke.

    At least this will give me something to look forward to.
    Who knows when a working app / crack will be made.
    But it’s always better when consumers have the power to control their own media.