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Sony sues PlayStation 3 hackers

George Hotz and fail0verflow, plus 100 others, hit with restraining orders over trafficking circumvention technology

Sony Computer Entertainment America is suing notorious hacker George Hotz and more than 100 others, including members of fail0verflow, for publishing root key details and cracks for the PlayStation 3.

Last year Hotz published an exploit for the PlayStation 3, but it wasn't until this year that hackers fail0verflow released information on how to completely circumvent security measures for the system, leaving it wide open to exploitation.

The hardware manufacturer alleges the defendants "circumvented effective technological protection measures" for the PlayStation 3 and other copyrighted works, and "trafficked in circumvention technology, products, services, methods, codes, software tools, devices, including but not limited to the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm Keys, encryption and/or decryption keys, dePKG firmware decrypter program, Signing Tools, 3.55 Firmware Jailbreak, and/or any other technologies that enable unauthorized access to and/or copying of PS3 Systems and other copyrighted works."

Sony alleges the defendants have violated the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Copyright Act and related state and common laws covered by the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, according to legal filings published by Hotz.

Sony is seeking a Temporary Restraining Order against Hotz, along with an Order to Show Cause and Order of Impoundment claiming "it will suffer irreparable harm unless Defendant Hotz's violations are enjoined."

The restraining order would stop Hotz from trafficking any circumvention technology or providing any links to websites offering circumvention technology, and from accessing the PlayStation 3 system in order to obtain code or information, or publishing any code or instructions or assisting others to do so.

The impoundment order gives Hotz 10 days to deliver any hardware or software to Sony's legal team which store circumvention technology.

At the time of writing details of the PS3 Jailbreak and a video from Hotz were still available freely online.

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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.
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