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Hotz releases PlayStation 3 hack

Exploit goes public to "ignite the PS3 scene"

PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz has released his exploit for the console, inviting others to expand on and develop his work.

"Hopefully this will ignite the PS3 scene, and you will organise and figure out how to use this to do practical things, like the iPhone when jailbreaks were first released," wrote Hotz on his blog. "I have a life to get back to and can't keep working on this all day and night."

According to Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter, writing for Eurogamer.net, "the released hack contains details of the interface Hotz created and sample code for adding complete read/write access to the PS3 via OtherOS/Linux. It also explains how the hardware is used in opening up the system, with Hotz glitching the memory bus to effectively turn a small hole in RAM into one that encompasses the entire system."

Hotz confirmed over the weekend that he had hacked the console, saying that he did it out of curiosity and did not intend to get involved in any games piracy.

"I'm not going to personally have anything to do with that," said Hotz. "To tell you the truth, I've never really played a PS3. I have one game, but I've never really played it."

Although Hotz claims the PS3 has now been hacked, the internal decryption algorithms of the CELL processor are impenetrable and no homebrew code has yet been seen running on the console.

"Hacking is breaking the security of the system, which I have done," said Hotz. "I'm not spending my time writing custom firmware, ISO loaders, and an open SDK. Leave that to somebody else...

"I didn't give up, I'm just not spending all day on it any more. I have other things to do. Just because I don't do something doesn't mean I can't do it. Unlike the iPhone, there isn't a clear definition of hacked (as in unlocked or jailbroken). This is code execution at the highest privilege level."

A detailed account of Hotz's exploit can be read on Digital Foundry.

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Matt Martin avatar

Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.