Sony Fires Back At PlayStation 3 Hackers

Illustration for article titled Sony Fires Back At PlayStation 3 Hackers

After having the PlayStation 3 opened up to hacks, custom firmware and software piracy, Sony is firing back—legally—at the groups responsible for cracking the console wide open.


According to documents featured on the web sites of hacker George "geohot" Hotz and hacking group fail0verflow, Sony Computer Entertainment America is seeking a temporary restraining order against all involved in circumventing the PlayStation 3's "technological protection measures." The motion for that restraining order seeks to yank those circumvention devices offline—which seems to have been effective, at least on Hotz's and fail0verflow's now stripped bare web sites—and restrict the accused hackers of accessing the PS3.

The motion for the restraining order against the defendants argues that Hotz's rootkey release and other circumvention devices violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, knowingly opening up the PS3 to piracy.

Hotz is accused of gaining "financial benefit through his unlawful conduct" via his PayPal account. The motion names group fail0verflow as "Bushing," Hector Cantero, Sven Peter and "Segher," as well as numerous John Does.

The motion is also seeking impoundment of "computers, hard drives, CD-ROMs, DVDs, USB sticks and other media" that contain circumvention devices.


You can read the documents in PDF format below.

Sony Computer Entertainment America reps confirmed the filing of the temporary restraining order, but said the company does not comment on litigation.


(Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)


I. Hate. This.

I hate all of this. I hate that the PS3 is being made more easily pirated. I hate that Sony is taking legal action. But most of all I hate all of these comments.

So many of you claim victory for the hackers. So many others claim defeat of that same group. Generally the trend here seems to be that these people are terrible and deserve this. Either that or that no hackers have any intent other than to steal.

This seems so ridiculously short sighted to me. There are so many things that can be done with this. If all you can think of is to steal, than that's you being short sighted. It's not that you see the truth and all the hackers are lying to themselves. Even assuming that you know their intents is rather pretentious.

I am an electrical engineer. I like to understand the mechanics of electronics. I like to be able to use electronics to the full extent of their power. I love this kind of stuff. I don't love it because I love free games. I love it because it allows me to see how truly great the PS3 is.

When the Kinect was hacked it showed the true potential of a device that no one was using fully. How is this any different? The Kinect can also be used to pirate games without even buying a Xbox 360. All you need is a strong enough computer and the right emulator. Yes, the architecture is different for game machines, but the Xbox line is certainly the closest a video game console has gotten to a computer.

This is advancement. This is unlocking the full potential of a circuit board. To me it's just enthralling. I love the idea of having complete control over my electronics. In fact, I would love to build something like this myself. The only problems are that it wouldn't be standardized to any sort of applications, it would be extremely expensive, and I don't have the knowledge yet to do something like build a game system.

Wii homebrew came out with Brawl+. PSP homebrew brought me Wagic. There is no reason that I shouldn't look forward to a gem of an application for the PS3.

On the note that Piracy brings DRM. This is true. However, you can't stop Piracy. You can stop DRM. There are many times that DRM influences people to pirate it, like in the Spore case. Also, studies have shown that less than 10% of pirated copies would even have a chance to be bought if the torrents or other such downloads were not available. Piracy is not the direct cause of DRM. Companies' fear of piracy is the cause. Piracy still indirectly causes DRM, but it could just as easily be avoided by not having been put into an application. Sure there would be more pirated copies, but would there really be less bought copies? I don't think people who buy their games would all of a sudden pirate it if it was easy to. Some wouldn't even consider it. Others would consider it and not go through the trouble. Others would be guided by whatever morals they follow. I really don't think that there are that many people on the fence.

Also, I'm doubtful that many people ran out to buy expensive Blu-Ray burners once they found out that the PS3 key was leaked. It's still difficult to Pirate PS3 games because it's still fairly expensive. Actually, depending on the number of games pirated, it might be cheaper to just go to the local GameStop.

This is not a good way to combat hackers that aren't even pirates. Combat the pirates by making games cheap enough that it costs them less to buy it than to spend the effort in finding a loophole. This would get more sales, allow for less frustrations with more frequent game release dates, and cut down piracy handily by making it stupidly cost ineffecient to do so. Also, the hackers that still wish to hack will be free of being accused of as pirates, because piracy will diminish greatly.

Hacking a product that you own is not wrong. Hacking it to work with things that you do not rightfully own is, but that's wrong because of how you obtained the thing that you don't rightfully own. It's hard to argue that the act of making it work is wrong in on itself.