Many of the regular PS3HaX members will know, that i personally think George Hotz aka GeoHot is the most egotistical prick in the entire existence of the internet, of course my personal feeling’s aside, there is no denying that the guy has accomplished quite a lot in the iPhone scene, no one will ever take that away from him, he is the “God” of the iPhone hacking scene.
When it comes to the PS3 scene he did a lot, lot more damage than good, he was a hindrance and to be honest, only came in at the end after the PS3 had been ripped apart by the guys from fail0verflow, now to make that clear, Geohot would not have been able to release anything, if it had not been for fail0verflow, but GeoHot NEVER gives credit where it is due as is clear in a new interview with “The New Yorker”, here are a few quotes from the article:
Since his iPhone feat, geeks often sent him devices just to see if he could hack them. That year, someone mailed Hotz a PlayStation 3 video-game system, challenging him to be the first in the world to crack it. Hotz posted his announcement online and once again set about finding the part of the system that he could manipulate into doing what he wanted. Hotz focussed on the “hypervisor,” powerful software that controls what programs run on the machine.
To reach the hypervisor, he had to get past two chips called the Cell and the Cell Memory. He knew how he was going to scramble them: by connecting a wire to the memory and shooting it with pulses of voltage, just as he had when he hacked his iPhone. His parents often gave him gifts that were useful for his hobby: after he unlocked the iPhone, they bought him a more expensive one. For Christmas, 2009, they gave him a three-hundred-and-fifty-dollar soldering iron. Sitting on the floor of his room, Hotz twisted off the screws of the black PS3 and slid off the casing. After pressing the iron to the wire, he began pulsing the chips.
Next, he had to write an elaborate command that would allow him to take over the machine. Hotz spent long nights writing drafts of the program on his PC, and trying them out on the hypervisor. “The hypervisor was giving me shit,” he recalls. It kept throwing up an error message—the number 5—telling Hotz that he was unauthorized. He knew that, if he got through, he’d see a zero instead. Finally, after several weeks typing at his computer, Hotz had composed a string of code five hundred lines long. He ran it on the PS3 and nervously watched the monitor. The machine displayed a sublime single digit: 0. Hotz called the code his “Finnegans Wake.”
On January 23, 2010, a little more than a month after posting his challenge, Hotz announced on his blog, “I have hacked the PS3.” He later posted instructions for others to do the same, and freely distributed the code. Hotz had hacked the two most iconic and ironclad devices of his generation. “Nothing is unhackable,” he told the BBC. “I can now do whatever I want with the system. It’s like I’ve got an awesome new power—I’m just not sure how to wield it.”
Sony responded by releasing a software update that disabled OtherOS, the feature through which Hotz had accessed the hypervisor. OtherOS enabled the machine to run Linux, the alternative operating system to Microsoft Windows and Apple OS. Running Linux essentially turned the PS3 from a single-purpose gaming console into a desktop computer, which people could use to write programs. They were furious that Sony had robbed them of this capability. “I am EXTREMELY upset,” a comment on Sony’s blog read. Some wanted to rally around Hotz, and organize: “THIS IS MADNESS!!! HACKERS UNITE!!! GEOHOT WILL LEAD US INTO THE LIGHT!” But many were angry at Hotz, not at Sony. “Congratulations geohot, the asshole who sits at home doing nothing than ruining the experience for others,” one post read. Someone posted Hotz’s phone number online, and harassing calls ensued.
Recalling the controversy, Hotz seemed genuinely unfazed. “All those people flaming me, I could care less,” he told me. He spent the summer of 2010 biking through China, and that fall, back at his parents’ house, he read Ayn Rand, which he said made him want to “do something.” “We let him get away with murder,” his father admitted. “But he never did bad things. He always did what he felt was right, and we were happy with that.”
In late December, Hotz decided once again to try to hack the PS3 in a way that would give him total control and let him restore what Sony had removed. On New Year’s Eve, Hotz and some high-school buddies played beer pong and watched the Times Square ball drop on TV. He woke up hung over on the couch at a friend’s house, with a towel stretched across him as a blanket, and stumbled back to his parents’ to fix some macaroni and cheese and think things through. Hotz wanted control of the PS3 metldr (pronounced “metloader”), a part of the software that, functioning like a master key, “lets you unlock everything.”
Hotz knew that the metldr key was hidden within the PS3, but now he realized that he didn’t necessarily have to find and break into the secret place. He could run a special decryption program in a different part of the machine, and make the key appear there. He had to figure out how to speak to the metldr, and then command it to appear. Within ten minutes, he had coded the PS3 hack.
The cursor blinked, indicating that Hotz had the power to do anything with the PS3: install OtherOS, play pirated games, or run obscure Japanese software. He prepared a Web page and a video documenting what he had done. But he hesitated. Although Apple had never sued anyone for jailbreaking, Sony had reacted fiercely to previous modifications of the PlayStation. Sony had also long boasted about the security of the PS3. Hotz wasn’t just undoing years of corporate P.R.; he was potentially opening the door to piracy.
With this concern in mind, Hotz wrote code that disabled the ability to run pirated software using his hack and added a note in his documentation: “I don’t condone piracy.” Still, he wanted a second opinion. Before he put the site live, he signed into an online chat channel where hacker friends hung out, and asked them whether he should release his hack. “Yeah,” one told him. “Information should be free.” Hotz told me, “This is the struggle of our generation, the struggle between control of information and freedom of information.” Also, on the day of the hack, unbeknownst to his parents, Hotz was high. He told me he had taken Vicodin and OxyContin, which filled him with a sense of invulnerability. “You just feel good about everything,” he recalled. He pushed a button on the keyboard and uploaded the instructions for his PS3 jailbreak.
On January 11, 2011, Hotz was playing Age of Empires II on his computer in New Jersey when he received an e-mail from Sony announcing a lawsuit against him. The company requested a temporary restraining order for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and facilitating copyright infringement, such as downloading pirated games. According to the Entertainment Software Association, piracy costs the industry eight billion dollars a year. Sony was also seeking to impound his “circumvention devices,” and it wanted him to take all the instructions offline immediately.
As soon as the news hit the Web, geeks rushed to Hotz’s site, seeking the tools while they could. At Carnegie Mellon University, David Touretzky, a computer scientist and proponent of freedom of information online, made copies of Hotz’s files. Touretzky blogged that Sony was “doing something breathtakingly stupid, presumably because they don’t know any better. . . . Free speech (and free computing) rights exist only for those determined to exercise them. Trying to suppress those rights in the Internet age is like spitting in the wind.” The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights advocacy group, released a statement saying that the Sony v. Hotz case sent a “dangerous message” that Sony “has rights in the computer it sells you even after you buy it, and therefore can decide whether your tinkering with that computer is legal or not. We disagree. Once you buy a computer, it’s yours.”
But Sony believed that Hotz’s hack was sending a dangerous message of its own. If people were free to break into their machines, game creators would be cheated out of royalties. Cheaters could tweak the games in order to beat everyone who stuck to the rules. Riley Russell, the general counsel for Sony Computer Entertainment of America, said in a statement at the time, “Our motivation for bringing this litigation was to protect our intellectual property and our consumers.”
On January 14th, Hotz went on “Attack of the Show,” a popular news program for gamers on G4, a cable-television network. When the host asked what he was being sued for, Hotz joked, “Making Sony mad.” He was serious, though, about his mission to keep information free. Later, he uploaded a hip-hop video on YouTube, which he titled “The Light It Up Contest.” He sat in front of his Webcam in a blue sweatshirt, his computer in the background. “Yo, it’s geohot,” he rapped, as the beat kicked in, “and for those that don’t know, I’m getting sued by Sony.” It was a surprisingly catchy tune about a complex issue from a whiz kid brazenly striking a pose. Hotz went on, bouncing in his desk chair, “But shit man / they’re a corporation / and I’m a personification / of freedom for all.”
Hotz’s rap earned him sympathy in chat rooms but not in the courts. A California district court granted Sony the restraining order against Hotz, preventing him from hacking and disseminating more details about its machines. It also approved a request by Sony to subpoena information from Twitter, Google, YouTube, and Bluehost, Hotz’s Internet provider, including the Internet Protocol addresses of anyone who downloaded the instructions from his site—a move that further incensed digital-rights advocates. Sony also gained access to records from Hotz’s PayPal account. In some circles, the rebel leader was becoming a martyr. As one fan of Hotz’s posted: “geohot = savior of mankind.”
The interview ends up with this paragraph…..
Last May, engineers from Sony invited Hotz to a meeting at its American headquarters, a half hour’s drive north, in Foster City. (“We are always interested in exploring all avenues to better safeguard our systems and protect consumers,” Kennedy told me.) Nervous but curious, Hotz walked into the building eating from a box of Lucky Charms, dropping marshmallows across the lobby. “If there were going to be lawyers there,” he recalled, “I was going to be the biggest asshole ever.” Instead, he found a roomful of PS3 engineers who were “respectful,” he said, and wanted to learn more about how he had beaten their system. During the next hour or so, the man who had started the hacker wars described his methodology.
For the source and to read the full article, which involves George Hotz life before the PS3, visit:
The New Yorker