Hacker releases PlayStation 3 root key

By on January 3, 2011, 10:14 PM
Hacker George Hotz, also known as GeoHot, has posted what he claims to be the PlayStation 3 root key, which is used for code signing games. GeoHot, who is known for helping crack the iPhone, has not only found the key, which groups have claimed in the past, but he has posted it to the public.

The root key lets the PS3 know that a piece of software is legitimate. If other hackers start using it (and it is indeed the real one), the key will let them make custom software or easily use pirated games. It will make it possible to run homebrew without the need for psjailbreak-style USB-devices. It also provides hope for those at firmware version 3.55 that have no way of downgrading.

The key cannot be changed without hardware modifications (firmware updates are not enough), and even doing so would render current software inoperable. In short, Sony will have a hard time fighting hacks developed with this key. The company has yet to issue a statement regarding the news; there are likely quite a number of people currently working overtime to figure out the implications of the key being available for the world to see.





User Comments: 23

Got something to say? Post a comment
slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Apple/Sony/Microsoft or somebody seriously needs to hire this guy.

realista69 said:

Wow, lets all hack the PS3!!!

Like now, go on, go.

..onnn...

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Damn. Why am i not rich enough to have the confidence to experiment with this sort of stuff...Mind, i hardly play the PS3 anyway.

Still a quality piece of hardware though.

Guest said:

this turd should be sent to a Chinese "re-education" camp !

mosu said:

It's OK for big companies like Sony to get kicked now and then,to remind them that they grow on people's money.BTW, GeoHot's name "Hotz" means thief in romanian.Good luck and a happy new year 2011 to all!

edison5do said:

Well, this will hurt the developers butget, But it will boost Sny PS3 Sales like a Sky Rocket, just like when PS2 got hacked.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It was only a matter of time I guess, just like the master key to HDCP protection for Blu-Rays.

Again i'm not standing up for Piracy or anything but people will always find a way round DRM systems if it locks the machine down too much such as this stops home brew software. If I had bought a PS3 and wanted to create and test my own home brew game on the platform I would be slightly peeved that the machine I bought was locked down.

I wonder if this will have a knock-on effect with game prices possibly going down?

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Again, this is a reminder why DRM only hurts the honest people. People who want to bypass your rights management can and will do so. But the honest majority of us suffer through rights restrictions.

Guest said:

Either you are a corporate puppet, or you have no imagination what so ever! You seem to be a bitter and angry nancy man

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Would anyone be willing to fill me in on why you would need this anyways????

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

cool..... now to play the right way yahooo

It worked.....

Guest said:

I do think if Sony didn't removed linux, they would not of incurred the wrath of the hacker community.

I blame Sony over-reaction that lead to this situation.

Leeky Leeky said:

Would anyone be willing to fill me in on why you would need this anyways????

My understanding is to be able to play non-genuine discs with your PS3 (copies of originals you own perhaps?), though I guess that also means illegal copies of games could also be played with the root key mod as well.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Leeky said:

Would anyone be willing to fill me in on why you would need this anyways????

My understanding is to be able to play non-genuine discs with your PS3 (copies of originals you own perhaps?), though I guess that also means illegal copies of games could also be played with the root key mod as well.

Thanks, I appreciate that. I didnt realize thats what this allowed.. guess I didnt read the article very well. Thank you for spelling it out for me.

Some friends were talking about making their newer PS3's play older games such as PS2/PS. But I dont think that this allows that to happen, as reading the older discs is actually a hardware issue. Right?

Guest said:

The main intention of the original hackers was to be able to run Linux on the machine, which has a rather cool vector processor useful for scientific and commercial work as well as hobbyist stuff. The original ps3 sold with this option as "other OS" and people who where not interested in games bought it for this, but they did not include it on the new ps3 slim. This limitation was artificial and when someone tried to bypass it on the slim they removed the feature form the original retroactively via an update. The home brew and developer community got to work to reapply this feature by other means and the piracy opportunities where simply an unimportant (to them) side effect. Piracy is however easer than re-creating the other OS feature and it will be a few weeks/moths before this is completed enough to be done by home users.

yRaz yRaz said:

I wont buy a PS3, it has so much potential...If people want to BUY a PS3 and install linux or windows on it, they should be aloud too. It's just another computer with proprietary hardware and more DRM than sense.

Here is a good idea for stopping piracy, make games WORTH buying. If they aren't worth buying, adjust the price accordingly. I feel bad for the people paid for black ops at full price. That is not a $60 game. It's more like a $30 game...I Probably wouldn't play it even if I got it for free.

biggabarr said:

don't be fooled its not about piracy or any other illegal stuff, its about making more money off console sales for sony every body wins when there is a hack system like ps3 companies starts to develop programs and hardware for modification and ps3 is getting old now , there will be a replacement for it soon so why not release the keys .

its only fair for those folks who buy genuine games to have a back up, just in the event you scratch the disc.

Guest said:

i spotted this because i was looking to see if anyone had got around sony removing my unix from my ps3 .. if sony had not been an *ss by removing other os then i guess this would not have happened .. karma .. no sympathy ..

Guest said:

lol nice... get on...

now!!!

Guest said:

"i spotted this because i was looking to see if anyone had got around sony removing my unix from my ps3 .. if sony had not been an *ss by removing other os then i guess this would not have happened .. karma .. no sympathy .."

i'm pretty sure you mean Linux & not unix. i seriously doubt unix would run on a desktop, let alone ps3

Guest said:

on my opinion. well. everything that can be locked can be unlocked...

so... its always a matter of time...

and it always happens... every time...

i think that the companys make a mistake by trying to lock this lock that... they spending money on it and still... ALLWAYS they hack it... so its kind of usless...???

@ our times i think they should mayby consider lowering the prices on games and software.

Yes i know. they are production costs and stuff... from the making of the cd to the plastic box and the paper manual.... and, and...

But you forget one thing... we are in the Golden Age of Internet.

Make them all downloadable... and lower the price.

or just stay with the prize tag of 70$ on new relesess... and lower it at DLC to 40-50 bucks.

so people will notice the difference and start downloading...

yes they are doing it... but still i think ist too expensive...

But on DLC you dont have any plastic boxes, dvds and costlly manuals...

sooo how you gonna explain this.

so why i must pay the same prize on Steam for a COD:BO and in the store?

the same time i can type the games name at torrents and download it ....

Personaly, i buy original games for their multiplayer and if really the game is good.

And most people do that...

But on the other hand.... Buissnes world is very dirty stuff... and sony is known for their unorthodox selling tactics... as one reader said above. when PS2 was finally chiped, the sales grow up to 200% and more... (correct me if im wrong....)

soooo... its up to you.

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

This is illegal but hopefully after he is done with his court case, jailbreaking any gaming station or any electronic device will be legal. He already made jailbreaking the iPod/iPhone legal.

Guest said:

No sympathy for Sony at all from me. Sony have made one bad decision after another with the PS3. First it was to design their own blu-ray, which they screwed up and had to start over, ultimately the consumer paid for their fark up on that one (hence the extremely high PS3 prices for ages). Then it was to promise developers the PS3 wouldn't use its own stupidly retarded programming language like the PS2 did, guess what? Sony make their own stupid programming language for the PS3 instead of sticking to tried and tested methods developers are familiar with. Then if that wasn't bad enough Sony kill the ability to install Linux, then to really make things bad Sony take out the chip making backward compatibility possible with PS2 games and instead switch to and completely rely on a software alternative (which was a massive failure, hence why backward compatibility was removed entirely..eventually, Sony did it bit by bit). Sonys well rehersed excuse? "Using DVDs damages the PS3s laser in the optical drive, shortening its lifespan." Erm.. Sony.. the PS3 plays movie DVDs. No difference to the PS2 DVDs.

I think I've made my point.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.