When US District Judge Susan Illston ordered PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George Hotz, also known as GeoHot, to hand over his computer's hard drive to Sony last month, there was no talk of cloning the two HDDs in question. TIG, the third-party responsible for isolating the information related to hacking the PS3 in order to give it to Sony, is now asking for permission to make two copies of the data, one in encrypted and one in decrypted form, according to PSX Scene.
GeoHot's attorney, Stewart Kellar, is once again attempting to fight back for his client: "SCEA is not entitled to inspect the impounded drives under the impoundment order, nor is it allowed to create and preserve additional copies of the impounded drives, but this is precisely what it seeks to do." Sony's response is of course to side with TIG:
For the foregoing reasons, SCEA requests that the Court order that Mr. Hotz comply with TIG's recommended impoundment protocols and that those protocols be supplemented to ensure that preservation requirements are met as follows:
(1) TIG create and preserve two forensically sound images (e.g., bit stream images) of each impounded storage device in its encrypted form: One to be maintained by TIG in a secure vault for preservation purposes and the second to be used for decryption and/or any other necessary analysis by TIG;
(2) TIG create and preserve two forensically sound images (e.g., bit stream images) of each impounded storage device in its un-encrypted form. One to be maintained by TIG in a secure vault for preservation purposes and the second to be used for TIG's necessary analysis; and
(3) TIG maintain and preserve all of the forensically created images for the duration of the lawsuit.
SCEA further requests that the Court order Mr. Hotz to: (a) provide TIG with the tools and keys necessary to decrypt the impounded storage devices and the keys and passwords necessary to decrypt or unlock any protected files contained on the impounded storage devices;
(b) identify for TIG all virtual machines or hard disks stored or at any time run on the impounded storage devices.3 Furthermore, to verify compliance with the impoundment order, SCEA requests that the Court order Mr. Hotz to provide a declaration setting forth: (i) verification that all storage devices on which any circumvention devices or any information relating to Mr. Hotz's circumvention of the technological protection measures in the PS3 System are stored have been delivered to TIG; (ii) why the storage device used by Mr. Hotz in the January 7, 2011 YouTube video entitled “Jailbroken PS3 3.55 with Homebrew” was not delivered to TIG for impoundment; and (iii) the identity of any remote storage of the circumvention devices or any information relating to Mr. Hotz's circumvention of the technological protection measures in the PS3 System.4 Finally, SCEA seeks fees and costs in relation to this motion.
Sony's legal attacks against the hackers that released the PS3 root key and custom firmware began last month. The group known as fail0verflow is accused of posting a rudimentary hack in December 2010 after finding security codes for the PS3. It was refined by GeoHot weeks later when he independently found and published the PS3 root key. The resulting hacks allow homebrew apps and pirated software to run on unmodified consoles. Sony is still threatening to sue anybody posting or distributing PS3 jailbreak code, despite the fact that the company accidentally tweeted the PlayStation 3 security key.