Sony Tries to Scrub PS3 Jailbreaks From the Web

By  |  Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 9:28 am

After four years of solid security, Sony’s Playstation 3 hacking defenses have fallen, and all the company can do now is try to snuff the hackers themselves.

Sony has filed a restraining order (and filed a lawsuit — see update below) against three named hackers — including George Hotz of iPhone jailbreak fame — along with two pseudonyms and numerous John and Jane Does, all of whom were involved in the latest jailbreak for PS3 firmware 3.55. It’s not a proper lawsuit yet, but Sony’s trying to get all information related to the PS3 jailbreak removed from the Web.

Hotz has posted the legal documents to his website’s home page, but it appears that he’s still hosting the jailbreak itself on an old page. He’s also still hosting a video of the jailbreak on YouTube. So anyone who’s interested in hacking the Playstation 3 now has fair warning to grab the files and documentation in case they’re removed from the source.

This is why the genie back in the bottle trick never works. If Hotz caves to Sony and removes all links to the jailbreak and its documentation, inevitably it’ll end up on BitTorrent anyway, and at that point it’s too late.

It’s worth noting, at least, that Hotz often mentions how he doesn’t condone piracy — this is Sony’s main concern with any PS3 hack — and the jailbreak itself doesn’t include any information on playing pirated games. The jailbreak simply allows hackers to install their own homebrew applications, which could include pirated games, third-party software or the “Other OS” feature that Sony removed in response to hacking last year.

According to Engadget’s legal maven Nilay Patel, we should find out today what the court decides on the restraining order, and lawsuit could follow in a matter of days.

Update: And now Sony has sued all involved, seeking damages and confiscation of the defendants’ computers. Should get interesting from here.


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. tattoozntech Says:

    i've already downloaded the jailbreak tool & the test package & my PS3 is very happily jailbroken, waiting on the homebrew packages to start trickling out, and they will soon… Sony can't stop this. It's out and as the article says, the genie won't go back in the bottle. all that has been accomplished is that Sony has dramatically & drastically raised the visibility of this causing more people to pay attention to it, and of course, causing more people to hop on the web & grab the jailbreak files to free their PS3. epic fail by Sony. these guys they are suing are just kids… do they think they will get money? even if the files are removed from their hosted sites they will immediately be spread across the web on every file hosting site & bit torrent link that can be found. complete waste of time & money…

  2. Shawn Reed Says:

    yeah….were it not for sony's franticness, I wouldn't have even known that my ps3 was jailbreakable. Now I know, and jailbreaking is the other half of the battle.

  3. Brandon Backlin Says:

    To add on to tattozntech's post, many people are hosting the full site as well.

    Truth be told, the possibility of a jailbreak has me more interested in getting a PS3. The potential power of the homebrew packages will be amazing. The return of OtherOS, independent 3D games, additional codecs for media streaming, etc.

    And even though I hate piracy, the ease of duplicating the software signatures and security keys means that piracy has a high chance of being rampant. That's probably the reason Sony is being harsh on this.

  4. Marcelo Souza Says:

    Yeah, yeah…. Open source… Free computing…. Homebrew packages
    blah, blah, blah…..
    Hypocrisy !

    I really want to know how many PS3 owners, in fact, really need the “other os” feature….

  5. Q'ran Stephen Says:

    Very well put.