PS3 ECC algorithm reversed

The ECC is the protection that keeps the PS3 from booting with a custom flashed rom. These folks managed to reverse the code. This means that they can now generate custom ones to allow the rom to boot.  They haven’t gotten very far with that side of it yet, but they did manage to rescue a broken PS3 with it.  They had one that had a bad flash, they were able to re write the code in it and it booted right up.

[thanks, vorgravy]


  1. Edward Nardella says:

    Kudos to you, still not interested in a ps3 till I gets me a descent controller for it.

  2. epicelite says:


    Because it’s true. )^=

    Cool hack tho.

  3. Is this something Sony can fix with an update tomorrow?

  4. jjrh says:

    So what does this exactly mean? What are the advantages to being able to rewrite the flash?

  5. blizzarddemon says:

    @abalastow If its anything like the independence exploit in the old fat PS2, then no, no its not.

  6. paul says:

    oooh, this is cool! I’ve always been really interested in reversing checksums.

    Do any other readers have some good resources on getting started/mastering the subject?

  7. badeip says:

    I would recommend Error Correcting Codes. A mathematical Introduction by John Baylis.
    ISBN 0-412-78690-7



  8. Lekker says:

    I hope it means more piracy for PS3. Seriously, we all know PS2 just got THAT popular worldwide because you could find pirate game cheaply anywhere. Oh wait, it uses that super-media-thing that nobody really cares about…… :P

  9. Yoshi says:

    To those who think that this will get a quick update tomorrow, if you’re at all considering getting it JUST because of the crack, don’t buy one. From what I can gather, Sony can probably just send a new system update tomorrow that will REFLASH with a different and harder (or not) version to crack. If you want to get one because you have a $600+ lying in your bank account and you want one, by all means go for it, the PS3 is worth it in shear beauty of the games alone.

  10. how it is says:

    @yoshi I take it that you don’t play PC games that much hell with the ps3 and 360 for that matter PC gaming will always be better. Plus I’m almost sure not entirely but the protection of the flash may not be on the firmware itself, so yeah It could be a serious prob for sony …. custom firmware anyone?

  11. jj jerksalot says:

    This is great news :D this is exactly what the psp needs a the possibility to run custom firmware hopefully dark Alex will get in on this because we cant rely on sony to do anything descent for the ps3

  12. dbgtwill1 says:

    i wonder if this could help with accelerated video
    in yellow dog linux(for those who dont know ps3 accelerated video is locked on any 3rd party os)
    this could do wonders for emulation and wine

  13. jj jerksalot says:

    ps3* not psp lol ;)

  14. alex says:

    isn’t ECC a hardware function? that would mean an update couldn’t fix this.

  15. ajax says:

    ecc doesnt necessarily have to be “hardware,” it would be possible to change this in programmable logic, something similar to a CPLD… hope it is hardware though. maybe write in a hypervisor re-entry return… or find a way to bootload a linux distro… no idea where an accelerated vido driver for the gpu would come from :)

  16. error404 says:

    It may not be ‘hardware’, but it’s got to be deeper than the firmware level, since it’s what verifies that the firmware is valid. Most likely it’s in the bootloader which might be in flash or ROM, but either way they’re unlikely to want to modify it. Breaking the bootloader will brick the unit with no possibility for recovery other than sending it in. With required updates pushed to all users I really doubt they’re going to want to do it, even if it is possible.

    Also the ECC is probably checked on the downloaded firmware before it’s written too, so it’d have to be a funky two-step process, and may not be possible at all for that reason.

  17. Tyler says:

    Does anyone actually know anything more about it? I can’t access the forum where it is originally posted, since the admins have some draconian policy. I’m curious if any one has any actual technical documentation. (This is a site for *hackers*).

  18. pip says:

    “(This is a site for *hackers*).”

  19. cde says:

    Goes to show that anything can be hacked, given enough time, effort, and a good deal number of people who own one. Which is why things like digital photo frames are not hacked yet :(

  20. kundanghanekar says:

    Cool hack.Although i play PS3 but not a needy one

  21. dbgtwill1 says:

    jj jerksalot are yo implying i meant the psp cuz
    i ushure you i meant the PS3.if i misunderstand
    srry but it seams to me your impling i dont
    know what im talking about

  22. Wwhat says:

    As I recall they released the PS3 with a promise of the capability to run OS’s, and they had not soon after a linux running on it.
    I guess the firmware hack is handy for REALLY independent developing though, and for piracy (and cheats I guess :/)

  23. Fool2cool says:


    He was correcting his previous post where he made a mistake. Stop looking for a fight.

  24. YoYo-Pete says:

    Nice hack, but I feel this could be the lead that destroys the PS3 online community. Since custom firmware came out of the PSP, the online gaming was destroyed by people using cheat codes. I hope the same fate doesnt fall the PS3.

    The thing the PS3 has going is the fact they can ban a device from the network, where the PSP does not.

    Just be known, if you play with YoYo-Pete and cheat, SCEA will have a report filed against you.

    Kudos to the engineering. I could care less about piracy. I gladly purchase my games, knowing the work that goes into them.

    I only hope this knowledge is not used to disrupt online gaming.

  25. JimXugle says:

    @ Wwhat

    You’re forgetting the restrictions on Linux installations… you get no access to the GPU, at least one of the Cell cores is disabled, the Optical drive doesn’t work, no sound acceleration…

  26. jj jerksalot says:

    @fool2cool thank you :D and to dbgtwill1… you sir are a moron and maybe you should read the comments before you post you dumbass

  27. Ghost says:

    I dont own a ps3, nor do I really want to. I do however have a psp and i love what the custom firmware has been able todo to it. i just hope that one day ps3 owners will get to see the same advances as with the psp, even if it takes a few hackers todo it.

  28. eyeonus says:

    Reasons I want the PS3 hacked:

    1) Full access to all of the PS3 systems from a Linux install. (“Other OS” has no GPU access for 3D rendering, for example.)

    2) Ability to install Linux on PS3 Slim.

    3) PS2 compatibility. (Limited on PS3, unavailable on late model PS3 and PS3 Slim.)

    4) Custom content. As in: Homebrew games and apps (mostly apps), such as an actual file browser, visualizations for the music player that don’t suck, XMB redesigns (not just “custom themes” which are merely skins), etc.

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