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Hackers bamboozled by PSP 3000 security

by Steven Williamson on 3 November 2008, 12:43

Tags: Sony Computers Entertainment Europe (NYSE:SNE), PSP

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It's still early days in the life of the PSP-3000, which was released approximately 3 weeks ago, but Sony will be happy to hear that hackers have so far failed to exploit the latest hardware revision.

So far hackers have only been able to swap its CPU with that of a PSP Slim, but haven't been able to exploit the hardware in the same way as previous models.

Dark Alex, one of the most popular PSP sites for the hacking and homebrew community, has been unable to find a work around to hack the hand-held and the community as a whole appear to be stumped as to whether it will even be possible.

If it can't be hacked then Sony will have finally won its long battle against piracy and the homebrew community. Throughout the life cycle of the PSP, Sony has tried to thwart hackers by releasing firmware updates to improve security, but every time it's still managed to be hacked. PSP hackers have in the past been vocal about the fact that they're not actually interested in hacking the PSP to take advantage of copied games, but believe they should have the right to do whatever they want to the hardware.

Fanjita, a member of the hacker group "N00bz!", stated,

"Everyone has the right to do what they want with their own hardware. Piracy does upset me, and because what we are doing opens the way to piracy it's harder to justify it morally. But our stance on piracy is clear, and we hope to be role models. Sony have never been in touch with me, so I am confident that what we are doing is legal."

However. some people believe that by stopping hackers from exploiting the hardware, Sony is actually doing itself no favours.

Phillip Torrone from Make Magazine recently stated:

"I think the really smart companies should release their products to the alpha geeks for six months and let the alpha geeks play around with them. It seems to me they'd save a lot of money on R&D, and they'd come out with much more solid products."

The PSP 3000 is obviously going to be tough nut to crack, but there lies the challenge - something that the hacking community will relish.


HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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However. some people believe that by stopping hackers from exploiting the hardware, Sony is actually doing itself no favours.

Well they aren't.. I'm sure if the PSP wasn't as hackable and homebrew capable as it is, it wouldn't have sold as much. I wouldn't have bought one just to play the games on it. The mini apps you can run and things you can do with it make it a much better purchase. For example, I'd rather have my PSP downloading my torrent rather than leave my PC on overnight to download, wasting energy. If I wanted to have something like that to download I would have to pay for those Killer NIC cards that can torrent and download while the PC is off, but thats £150-100 alone and can only do that. Another useful app on it is the RPN HP Calculator, quite useful if you don't have your calculator about, and the last is to use it as an MP3 player :) You could use it as that anyway but just buying it to play MP3s and games would be a waste for me. There's many more apps for it out there that I don't know or haven't used but these are some of a few that are nice to use.
I agree that with out homebrew the PSP is a bit of a dud.

I always thought they should embrase homebrew. My idea would be for them to release a firmware that had all the copy protection in place but allowed homebrew to run, maybe even go as far as releasing a dev kit.

This could give two benifits as, in theory, it would mean the hackers and devs would have no reason to break the official firmware so no running of “backups”. But also the best homebrew apps could be released on to PSN for a fee for the less technical users who want more functionality from their investment.

I really believe that most PSP hackers and devs dont want their work to be used for piracy, its in their interest for the PSP to be supported by Sony. If piracy continues at its current level then the PSP is dead there is already a desperate lack of games.