Playstation Network breached, no end to downtime in sight

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If you are not a gamer, or simply a casual player, you may not have heard about the recent breach of Sony’s Playstation Network. In short, the network was infiltrated on April 17th, and the service was completely shut down on the 19th as a precautionary measure. Now, more than a week later services have yet to be restored, but Sony is finally starting to talk a bit more about what happened.

At this point, nobody knows the total extent of the data stolen, but stories are emerging that indicate just about everything that could be accessed was accessed. Sony admits that information such as names, addresses, passwords, and security questions have all been accessed by an unauthorized third party. They have also not completely ruled out the possibility that credit card data has been stolen as well.

It seems the situation has turned from a mere inconvenience to PSN users into a full-blown security and PR nightmare. After a breach like this with so many questions left unanswered, and the gaming network rendered completely useless, we have to ask:

When everything is “fixed” and back to normal, what could Sony possibly do to regain your trust?

Geohot case settlement

It looks like Sony and [George Hotz] have reached an out-of-court settlement in the case brought against the hacker who is more well-known as [Geohot].

This is the end (we think) of an ongoing saga that originally drew our ire when Sony remove OtherOS support as a sledge-hammer-type fix for holes that [Geohot] found in the security system used by PlayStation 3 hardware. Our beef with that move is that it punished people who bought a PS3 knowing that it could run Linux natively, only to have that rug retroactively pulled out from under them. [Geohot] then went on to publish details that allow those with the proper skills to leave a smoldering pile of slag where Sony’s hardware security used to reside.

They slapped him with a lawsuit for publishing those details. This settlement doesn’t have him admitting any wrongdoing. We’re not going to editorialize on the morals or ethics of [George's] actions, but we do still think that Sony greatly overreacted at several points along this unfortunate string of events.

[Thanks Buggs187]

Clever hack tethers a Kinect sensor to the PS3

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Now that Kinect has been hacked to work with just about everything from robots to toaster ovens, someone finally got around to tweaking it for use on the PS3.

[Shantanu] has been hard at work writing code and experimenting with some preexisting Kinect software to get the sensor to talk to his PS3. The Kinect is hooked up to a PC, which captures all of his movements with OpenNI. Those movements are mapped to PS3 controls via NITE, a piece of middleware used for interpreting gestures into commands. All of the captured button presses are then relayed to the PS3 over a Bluetooth connection using DIYPS3Controller.

As you can see in the video below, the solution works pretty well for what should be considered pre-alpha code. He has been able to map several custom gestures to button presses, and the Kinect does an overall decent job tracking his limbs and translating their movements to on-screen actions. The actual in-game use is a bit rough at the moment, but aside from the infancy of the code, you have to remember that these games were never meant to be played with the Kinect.

It’s a job well done, and we can’t wait to see where this project goes.

Looking for more Kinect fun? Look no further than right here.

[via Kinect-Hacks]

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Reverse engineering the Playstation Move

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[Kenn] is working on building a quadrocopter from the ground up for a university project. Currently, his main focus is building an Inertial Measurement Unit, or rather re-purposing a PS3 Move controller as the IMU for his copter. He previously considered using a Wiimote Motion Plus, but the Move has a three-axis magnetometer, which the Wii controller does not.

The ultimate goal for this portion of his project is building custom firmware to run on the Move’s STM32-Cortex microcontroller, allowing him to obtain data from each of the controller’s sensors. Through the course of his research, he has thoroughly documented each sensor on his site, and dumped a full working firmware image from the Cortex chip as well. Recently, he was even able to run arbitrary code on the controller itself, which is a huge step forward.

[Kenn’s] project is coming along very nicely, and will undoubtedly be a great resource to others as he continues to dig through the inner workings of the Move. Be sure to swing by his site if you are looking for information, or if you have something to contribute.

Take your PS3 on world tour

[Lossfresnos65] must be planning to do a lot of travelling because he’s entombed his PlayStation 3 in a Pelican case. Inside you’ll find some diamond-plate bezel to cover the console itself and used to surround the 19-inch high-definition television that is mounted to the lid of the case. In the picture above you see the door that lifts to reveal foam cutouts for a TV remote and two six-axis controllers. There’s no battery and no wireless Internet, but connection for the power cord, Ethernet, component video, and HDMI have an external port on the base of the enclosure. There’s also two fans to keep everything cool, and on the front you’ll find two USB ports and a headphone jack. After the break he shows off the finished product but there’s no internal build photos to be found. We linked his forum post at the top as ask him and perhaps he’ll deliver the goods.

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PS3 hacking start-to-finish – CCC

Well it looks like the Play Station 3 is finally and definitively cracked. FailOverflow’s Chaos Communications Congress talk on console security revealed that, thanks to a flaw on Sony’s part, they were able to acquire the private keys for the PS3. These keys can be used to sign your own code, making it every bit as valid (to the machine anyway) as a disk licensed by the media giant. We’ve embedded the three-part video of the talk, which we watched in its entirety with delight. We especially enjoy their reasoning that Sony brought this upon themselves by pulling OtherOS support.

We remember seeing a talk years back about how the original Xbox security was hacked. We looked and looked but couldn’t dig up the link. If you know what we’re talking about, leave the goods with your comment.

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PS3 Jailbreak – Now in Apple flavor!

Image courtesy of DanyL of psx-scene

The newest member of the PS3 jailbreaking tool crowd is the iPod family. More specifically, iPods running the open source media firmware Rockbox. Even better news, theoretically it should be possible to use this same method on any MP3 player running the Rockbox software. Right now the exploit package only works on select generations of the iPod Nano and iPod Classic line, but if the trend set by the PSX-scene forums continues, it would be worth checking back in the near future if your device is not already supported. Thanks to [shuffle2] for providing the hack, and [DanAdamKOF] for the heads up.

If Apple isn’t your device of choice, you can also check out some of your other jailbreaking options.