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New PS3 Firmware Contains Backdoor

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the i'm-your-backdoor-ram dept.

Hardware Hacking 491

Vectormatic noted the rumor floating around that the most recent PS3 patch has a backdoor, and "Sony can now remotely execute code on the PS3 as soon as you connect. This can do whatever Sony wants it to do, such as verifying system files or searching for homebrew. Sony can change the code and add new detection methods without any firmware updates."

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Even more surprising news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35066762)

People who have a PS3 love it in the 'backdoor' because the PS3 has nogaems.

Prove me wrong, cats and kittens!

Re:Even more surprising news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35066780)

MGS4, Uncharted are at least 2.

Re:Even more surprising news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067138)

Trolls, feeding, what is the rule?

Re:Even more surprising news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067206)

Not after midnight and don't get them wet.

AGAIN, Sony? (5, Insightful)

MarioMax (907837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066786)

Didn't you learn from your mistakes the last time you tried this?

Re:AGAIN, Sony? (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067166)

Yes, they learned it was SO cheap that it's worth doing in all Sony products.

Re:AGAIN, Sony? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067298)

lawsuits? what are those?

IRC (5, Informative)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066794)

Wow, the "source" for this speculation is an IRC conversation.

Not that I respect Sony considering what they've done in the past but I think I'll hold off judgement for a bit longer on this one.

Coons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35066832)

Wow, the "source" for this speculation is an IRC conversation. Not that I respect Sony considering what they've done in the past but I think I'll hold off judgement for a bit longer on this one.

To quote Monty Python... "you're no fun anymore!"

Re:IRC (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066846)

I'm with you on that, Sony definitely isn't above doing this sort of thing, but personally I'm going to wait until there's more information available before updating my firmware just in case. Personally, I won't be buying anything more from Sony after this. If they think that they can treat me like this they can pretty much just fuck themselves with the longest, pointiest, hottest poker they can find.

Re:IRC (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067198)

You mean their track record for shoddy products, crappy product support, the previous rootkit installs and their close ties with the RIAA haven't been reason enough for you?

Re:IRC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067226)

Shoddy products?

As compared to who?

Re:IRC (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067304)

It's the second product of theirs I've owned and the other one was a laptop which was just fine. When I got the PS3 it was cheaper than the other options for a bluray player.

Re:IRC (4, Insightful)

dc29A (636871) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066904)

I don't beleive Sony are that dumb. A backdoor pretty much opens the PS3 not just to Sony but hackers and most importantly malware writers. PS3 botnet anyone?

Re:IRC (4, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067000)

As many have alluded and will allude to in this discussion, they *are* that dumb, as evidenced by the fact that they did it before [wikipedia.org] .

Re:IRC (2, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067172)

Actually, they HAVENT done that before-- read the article you linked. That was a rootkit, not a backdoor; they are related but seperate. The BMG rootkit did not allow remote code execution; it instead took measures to hide its activity from visibility, causing havoc with some CD drives and assisting some viruses in the process.

Rootkit=/= backdoor. I know its fun to hate on Sony, and I fully support such positions, but lets not distort the truth here.

Re:IRC (1, Flamebait)

nicholas22 (1945330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067306)

Actually, they HAVENT done that before-- read the article you linked. That was a rootkit, not a backdoor; they are related but seperate. The BMG rootkit did not allow remote code execution; it instead took measures to hide its activity from visibility, causing havoc with some CD drives and assisting some viruses in the process.

Rootkit=/= backdoor. I know its fun to hate on Sony, and I fully support such positions, but lets not distort the truth here.

Dear Sony stakeholder, The point is that they are both malicious. Thanks.

Companies are Collections of Individuals & Gro (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067320)

For all we know some people in some group, responsible for one aspect of the project, got this thing included. I doubt that the CEO of Sony and the guy who put the rootkit in the music division talked to each other and the entire PS3 group.

They were dumb enough to root your PC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067024)

They were dumb enough to root your PC and dumb enough to use GPL code in their proprietary DRM. They were dumb enough to tout 192 khz as the dogs bollocsk because it was able to reproduce sound more faithfully and at the same time that a watermark below that range was not audible.

So they're definitely dumb enough to do this.

Re:IRC (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067096)

I think a botnet would be just about the best use possible for that heaping pile of shit.

Re:IRC (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067296)

I didn't think Sony would remove the Linux option, which was a feature from day 1. I was wrong.

Re:IRC (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067116)

>>>I think I'll hold off judgement for a bit longer on this one.

Has Sony done anything worthwhile?
- invented CD.
- invented Playstation and broke the NES/SNES monopoly.
the end

I was planning to get a PS3 once the price dropped, but now I think I'll just continue playing my PS2 and 1 games. The Nintendo Wii is looking pretty attractive (although I hate playing Sonic with that damn controller that doesn't register my inputs). Or maybe an Xbox 360.

Any PS3 games that will not play on the 360? Or maybe just quit consoles and try computer gaming again. Haven't touched a computer game since the 32-bit Amiga era.

Re:IRC (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067202)

Sony also invented the 3.5" diskette.

Re:IRC (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067330)

Nope. Sony's design was rejected. So were most other 3 or 3.5 inch variants. The final Floppy was based on a conglomeration of multiple companies, similar to how the DVD was created.

Somebody else wrote:
>>>What monopoly?

NES had over 90% share of the market. SNES was closer to a 50-50 share with Sega Genesis/megadrive.

Re:IRC (1)

Cley Faye (1123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067242)

Any PS3 games that will not play on the 360? Or maybe just quit consoles and try computer gaming again. Haven't touched a computer game since the 32-bit Amiga era.

I'd say, Disgaea 3. That's one game that make me want a PS3... Sadly, as good as it is, it's still not good enough to counter Sony "bend-over" policy.
I really hate it when titles that can perfectly work on every recent system get locked down to one without reason (at least, good reason).

Re:IRC (0)

acohen1 (1454445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067256)

Theres a a very long list of exclusive PS3 games. See this list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PlayStation_3_games [wikipedia.org] and organize by exclusive.

I'm sure we can add a few things like the Walkman and Minidisc to Sony's contributions to society.

Genesis does what Nintendon't (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067262)

Has Sony done anything worthwhile?

Successfully sued Universal City Studios (now a division of Comcast) to allow the importation of Betamax VCRs into the United States (Sony v. Universal), establishing the substantial noninfringing use test.

broke the NES/SNES monopoly

What monopoly? Long before "Droid does what iDon't", there was "Genesis does what Nintendon't".

I was planning to get a PS3 once the price dropped

Stick with PCs. They're the only way you can be sure not to have an intentional backdoor used against you.

Any PS3 games that will not play on the 360?

MGS4 isn't ported because it fills the Blu-ray Disc and would fill three or four 360 DVDs. LittleBigPlanet isn't ported because it's a first-party exclusive positioned as a system seller.

Re:Genesis does what Nintendon't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067334)

"Stick with PCs. They're the only way you can be sure not to have an intentional backdoor used against you."

I assume this is some kind of in-joke.

Re:IRC (1)

SilenceBE (1439827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067162)

Wow, the "source" for this speculation is an IRC conversation.

Does that suprise you knowing this is Slashdot ? This sites seem to be the fox channel off technology sites. Heavy biased news , no fact checking and the editors have the journalistic integrity of a goldfish. And I know I'm kinda harsh to goldfishes species to compare them with the slashdot editors, so I'm sorry for that.

For a group of people that has combated Microsoft FUD they seem to like the same tactics... .

The checking of installed software for going online is nothing new. Microsoft bans modded consoles for a while now and the only way they can do that is when checking which software or hacks is installed... . It is not they are using magical fairy dust in Redmond that tells them that a particularly consoles has been modded or not.

Don't like it ? Don't agree with the terms of using their networks and go online.

Really is there a place for the geek community that has no (or less) bias ?

Bash.org (4, Insightful)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067164)

Bash.org [bash.org] archiving reliable reporting sources since Wednesday February 02, @12:16AM.

Such as ...
Cthon98's expose on gullibility and technological literacy [bash.org]
erno's scandal on the misappropriated resources [bash.org]
CRCError's report on the abuses of power [bash.org]
DragonflyBlade21's critique on the human condition [bash.org]

... and of course entertainment news...
JonJonB's review of Harry Potter [bash.org]

Re:IRC (2, Insightful)

JackDW (904211) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067176)

In the absence of effective hardware security, this is the only way to stop people cheating in online games. This has become a big problem on the PS3 [techspot.com] since the jailbreak enabled it [binplay.com] .

On the PC, where there was never any hardware security to prevent cheating, publishers have been using the same technique for many years. Consider Blizzard Warden [wikipedia.org] , Punkbuster [wikipedia.org] , and Valve Anti Cheat [wikipedia.org] . All of these allow the publisher - or their authorised agents - to download and run code on your machine when you connect to the online service.

Now Sony's platform is thoroughly broken, Sony has to adopt Punkbuster/VAC/Warden-style technology. It's either that, or suffer a mass exodus of players to other platforms which will be free of cheats.

Re:IRC (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067186)

Yeah it's not like any useful information gets exchanged over IRC.

They should have bought a real computer. (1, Interesting)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066810)

Makes you wonder how safe is it really to use these "game console" things, which is really a computer with no local rights to OS control.

Re:They should have bought a real computer. (2)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066918)

The wireless providers know only this model, and their business is booming. Don't think this isn't the future of all consumer-level computing. The freedom was nice while it lasted...

Re:They should have bought a real computer. (2)

lavers (1946786) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067066)

I'm just holding out hope that "real" computers will at least remain available to those who know what they're looking for. Might get to the point where we have to build them from scratch in our basements again...

Re:They should have bought a real computer. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067190)

Or we could just run Linux.
  - I don't like linux, but then I don't like an OS that is controlled by Sony or Microsoft either. Whatever happened to respecting the citizens' property & leaving your goddamn megacorp hands off it? (Yanks wire from wall.)

Provided Linux PCs remain available (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067328)

I'm just holding out hope that "real" computers will at least remain available

Or we could just run Linux.

That is, if you can even buy a computer that respects your freedom to run a version of Linux that isn't Tivoized. If the PC market were anything like the mobile and console markets, one would have to buy a multi-thousand-dollar computer on which to make even the simplest of apps and a $100 per year or more certificate just to be able to run apps that you have made on a computer that you have purchased.

Re:They should have bought a real computer. (2)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067266)

I share your fear.

I'm fine if Apple's tablets run a special-purpose, consumer-only OS that limits your freedom. If the Mac shows signs of going in the same direction, I have a bad feeling. If then Google releases a netbook with a locked boot loader that will only load Chrome OS, which in turn requires you to log in with your Google Account upon power up, I start to worry.

Perhaps RMS wasn't so paranoid when he warned against "the cloud" after all.

Re:They should have bought a real computer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067146)

What's there to be safe or unsafe about? It's a GAMING console, not a security system. I'd rather they did this with the PS3 (where I play games and has no impact on my privacy, security, finances, etc...) than my PC where it would have impact on my privacy, security, finances, etc....

Re:They should have bought a real computer. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067200)

What's there to be safe or unsafe about? It's a GAMING console It's also on the "good" side of your router, doesn't have a firewall, and in theory has access to your entire home network. It is most certainly a security risk.

Apple copied Microsoft here (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067358)

What's unsafe is the potential for this to spread beyond gaming-specific hardware. Recall that Apple's App Store business model was largely a copy of the Xbox Live Indie Games model that preceded it by several months, right down to the $99 per year certificate and the 30% take on app sales.

Re:They should have bought a real computer. (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067286)

Makes you wonder how safe is it really to use these "game console" things, which is really a computer with no local rights to OS control.

Aw, cmon, what could possibly go wrong?

Who? (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066814)

Who is logging into their PSN account with homebrew on their PS3?

Sony==epic idiots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35066822)

Solution: Don't buy a PS3.

Re:Sony==epic idiots (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066892)

Unfortunately, they didn't just do all this up front, so a lot of us already have our PS3s and little to no recourse.

In that case... don't buy a PS4 ;-) (2)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067118)

I know it does not exist yet, but a few years from now, there will probably a PS4 because the PS3 is becoming obsolete.
At that point, everybody should remember that Sony is managed by assholes and cannot be trusted...

Sony??!? (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066840)

But such a control-freak move seems so out of character for Sony. I mean, Sony installing an intrusive backdoor that could potentially be abused, just to fight a few pirates? I can't think of a precedent for that.

Re:Sony??!? (0)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066896)

In fact there is one.

For those who are curious about the new PS3 security, it seems Sony has implemented something in 3.56 I mentioned here a few weeks ago that is the same as Microsoft uses to detect and ban 360's.

Re:Sony??!? (2)

Megane (129182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066930)

Woosh! The sarcasm passed right over your head. You even missed what was really being hinted at, the CD rootkit fiasco.

Re:Sony??!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35066942)

Whoosh.

News? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35066858)

Why is this surprising? Some might say backdoor, all it is is an update mechanism. Are there going to be articles on how Firefox has a backdoor that allows execution of any code Mozilla want?

Re:News? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067014)

This. Sony already had control of the system for anyone that connected to PSN. They added some more checks because some people were bypassing that control (in fact the same checks that Microsoft has been using for quite some time on XBox Live). This should not surprise anyone, and really doesn't change anything. You can still run your shitty custom firmware and play your pirated games, you just can't sign into PSN, which really shouldn't surprise anyone. That is of course if this random conversation from an IRC channel that somehow made the front page of Slashdot has any actual basis in reality.

Not a rootkit (5, Informative)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066866)

The "article" calls this a rootkit. The summary calls it a backdoor. Neither is strictly true.

Rootkits allow unauthorized users root level access and backdoors allow unauthorized remote users access. In this case, you're installing Sony software and this software allows Sony to autoupdate their software and remove cracks. This isn't much different from Chrome autoupdating or Firefox blacklisting certain extensions. The only real difference is that Sony might not have been all that forthcoming about the fact that this new firmware has this capability. My guess is that if you look at the EULA carefully, it does specify that they are allowed to do this.

I would suggest that if you think they have trampled on your rights, then take them to court. Sony will just keep making their firmware more and more "evil" until a sizable number of users stands up and says "no more".

Re:Not a rootkit (2)

SockPuppetOfTheWeek (1910282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066950)

The "article" calls this a rootkit. The summary calls it a backdoor. Neither is strictly true.

Rootkits allow unauthorized users root level access and backdoors allow unauthorized remote users access.

It is unauthorized access. Unauthorized remote root access by Sony to a PS3 that belongs to an end-user who never gave them permission to do whatever it is they needed remote root for.

Oh, you may say it's in the EULA, but whether or not that holds up in court is another matter. They can't just put whatever they want in the fine print and expect it to be contractually binding. Their EULA could say somewhere in the fine print that Sony had remote access to root your firstborn's backdoor, but that wouldn't be a legal contract...

Re:Not a rootkit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35066984)

So a backdoor for other 3rd parties to install viri/worms/other. Nice. Even better they have the key to sign it so it runs fine. Brilliant!

Trample rights? Try straight up stupid. MS has been quickly removing all the bits in their browsers that allow for this very feature. There is a reason for that.

Re:Not a rootkit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067058)

Not only does the EULA say things like this, but every single EULA I have ever read has the words "this EULA is subject to change at anytime without informing the end user" - meaning they can change the Eula to state whatever they want to say, to hedge against court filings..

So company can say, hey you bought it, but since you bought it the Eula has changed that says we can do whatever we want to you and not bother telling you until after we done it. Hell, no "normal" person could stand a chance in court vs them anyway.

Re:Not a rootkit (4, Interesting)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067170)

Actually, that sort of verbiage can negate a contract or agreement. It has to have a definitive nature at the time of agreement and it needs notice for the change so you can either negotiate new terms or end the same if you don't agree with the new changes. Any verbiage that allows the contract to change so much on a whim as you're implying renders the contract null and void as there's no way to be able to be in compliance with the terms at any given time.

Re:Not a rootkit (2)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067110)

Actually, your definitions are not accurate...

Rootkits allow remote users, authorized or not, clandestine root level access to a system without any auditing showing when it occurred- it injects the following into a system.

Backdoors allow a remote user a way into the system outside of the security and auditing of a system.

Neither of these require "unauthorized" users to be using them- and Sony claiming it's "authorized" to do so through it's PSN EULA does not negate that it's pretty much a backdoor that was not there before that was inserted via a recent firmware update. There is likely to be no real security management within this framework (heh...they didn't get the rootkit right or their PS3 security system right, what makes anyone think this will be any different?) and the moment someone wiresharks the protocol Sony's using for this thing, the bad guys will be able to do worse to you, including probably pushing botnet updates to the boxes. Real smart. One more boneheaded thing in a string of them from Sony. You'd have thought they'd have learned from the rootkit fiasco about this stuff, but noooo...

I'm not so sure this is wrong anymore (2, Insightful)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066878)

I don't know anymore. We know why they are doing this. To stop developers from thinking that the platform is dead to develop for because there will be rampant piracy.

And to stop cheaters. I'll tell you, I've just recently gotten into online shooters lately (MoH and COD:BO), and I'll tell you, I swear to god the amount of hacks and cheaters* just makes me not want to even bother.

I'm almost siding with Sony on this one. It's almost to the point that you have to buy as soon as it comes out and then you have a window of enjoyment of a month. Then it's worthless. To me, what's the point?

Re:I'm not so sure this is wrong anymore (3, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066960)

Yeah, I think the only thing that Sony has done wrong is remove the "Other OS" option. They probably should not have included it in the first place. But other than that, Sony has basically sold you:

-A black box capable of playing games
-You have to pay $60 per new game
-If you want to play online, you can't cheat

This firmware doesn't change any of this, so why get upset? If you wanted a general purpose computer that you control the software stack on, then buy a PC and roll your own Linux kernel.

Re:I'm not so sure this is wrong anymore (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067214)

This firmware doesn't change any of this, so why get upset? If you wanted a general purpose computer that you control the software stack on, then buy a PC and roll your own Linux kernel.

It sets a bad precedent if (and time will tell if this is really the case) the box can be completely taken over by Sony from the outside. I'm not opposed to it per se but it should be clear on the box that they have the ability to do this otherwise it is an invasion of privacy. Sony isn't the copyright police they are a consumer goods company. Any poking around they do should be clearly and unambiguously agreed on by the customer.

Re:I'm not so sure this is wrong anymore (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067258)

>>>-You have to pay $60 per new game

Anybody who pays more than $20 for a new game is spending too much. All it requires is a year's worth of patience to wait for the pricedrop. If the game is a hit, it will become a $20 Greatest Hit, and if it's a flop it will be lowered to $20 or less to move it off the shelves.

Re:I'm not so sure this is wrong anymore (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066998)

And you honestly believe that this will prevent cheating in general or that their "security" was preventing it- all Sony's losing the keys to their kingdom did was make it slightly easier to cheat.

Re:I'm not so sure this is wrong anymore (1)

AlexiaDeath (1616055) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067042)

No matter how hard they squeeze the console, there will still be hacks and cheaters. It's a race Sony cant win, not like this. Its not a technical problem, its a human problem. And human problems have human solutions. Piracy is curtailed by better availability and providing value with a purchase a pirate cant get. And cheaters... What do kids do if there is a cheater on the play ground? They stop playing with him. So why not put all people over certain abnormal skill level in a bucket labeled "Unreal" and let them cheat each other?

Re:I'm not so sure this is wrong anymore (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067112)

I don't understand why people can't buy a PC to develop "homebrew" software for it. It's more powerful and costs less.
All the efforts from hackers resulted in:
  • piracy (not that I care, but perhaps game developers do, and I like the games they develop)
  • no more Other OS
  • cheaters in online games
  • PC-like nuisances such as "serials"
  • draconian security measures which only harm honest users

I think the majority of console players know that a console is a closed box when they buy it. It's meant to play commercial games only. And a game is only meaningful if its code hasn't been tampered with by some of the players.

Re:I'm not so sure this is wrong anymore (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067284)

I'd agree, but the current situation is due to multiple blunders by Sony themselves. As far as I'm concerned they get what they deserve. Basing all their security on a singe Key with no backup plan what-so-ever was just plain incompetent. Corporate execs only learn lessons when they lose lots and lots of money. So lets see just how much money they can lose on this one.

Oh yes, raep the customer... (1)

AlexiaDeath (1616055) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066894)

They will love you for it and come back for more.... erm... I think not. Sony went off my possible purchases list forever when they removed the OtherOS feature. Just makes you wander how far up their buts do the heads of Sony business people really have to be to pull this kind of reputation damaging stunts and actually believe that it will improve their bottom line.

I quit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35066898)

I give up. I am tired of fighting companies for my hardware that I have purchased. Apple, Sony, and Microsoft are wasting my time. I hacked my PSP because I wanted faster load times. I Hacked my iPhone because I did not agree with being charged twice for data. I hacked my PS3 just for fun. I quit.

Re:I quit (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067220)

Good news! You do own the hardware you purchased. If you don't like the content of this firmware update then don't take it.

Sony isn't interested in pleasing the small segment of users that do want to hack their units. They're far more interested in ensuring a smooth (and profitable) experience for the vast majority of their user base that doesn't feel like messing around with their units. If you don't like that business model then you shouldn't be buying a Sony product, because this recent update is certainly consistent with their past actions.

Re:I quit (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067278)

Im not sure why you blame Microsoft-- they dont tamper with PC hardware (couldn't, really), and you KNEW what you were getting with the XB360. FWIW I dont remember hearing of them going after anyone for modding their Xbox360 offline, and if you want to connect to live, you KNOW their policies.

I bought my PS3 dammit! (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066934)

Is it just me, or I could swear that I 'bought' my ps3 and it said nothing about a cable box like rental on the box. Why is it so hard for Sony to understand that this is my property and to leave it well enough alone? If they want to arbitrarily execute code on other people's property it crosses the line to hacking and that's criminal to in most jurisdictions.

What they have done is no different that the cable company demanding root level access to your computer in order to go online. People would be outraged there, why should a game console (which is just a dedicated computer) be any different?

Re:I bought my PS3 dammit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067020)

Sony did not force you to connect your PS3 to the internet, to use PSN, or to update your firmware.

Re:I bought my PS3 dammit! (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067222)

Sony did not force you to connect your PS3 to the internet, to use PSN, or to update your firmware.

By way of a car analogy, Ford doesn't force me to drive my car. But it's just not that useful sitting in the garage -- but it is mostly safe from being wrecked.

Re:I bought my PS3 dammit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067194)

This is no big deal, MS have had this for a while and use it. Sony just playing catch-up once again, and pissing off a lot more PS3 users in the process.

Re:I bought my PS3 dammit! (1, Interesting)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067204)

Is it just me, or I could swear that I 'bought' my ps3 and it said nothing about a cable box like rental on the box. Why is it so hard for Sony to understand that this is my property and to leave it well enough alone?

Excellent idea. Just delete your PSN login and disable automatic updates, and you're fine.
Err, until then, you do realize that you keep logging into their property and as long as you do, you're explicitly agreeing to their conditions, right?

If they want to arbitrarily execute code on other people's property it crosses the line to hacking and that's criminal to in most jurisdictions.

... apparently not.

What they have done is no different that the cable company demanding root level access to your computer in order to go online.

Sure. And that's not illegal. You'd be wise to tell the cable company to fark off, however, and get a different service provider. Of course, if you want to access the cable company's private servers (i.e. "PSN"), then a different service provider won't work for you. But you have that choice, you know, it being your property and their servers being their property.

Basically, I'm not sure if you quite see the irony in loudly insisting that the PS3 is your property and Sony should leave it alone, while simultaneously demanding unfettered condition-free access to Sony's property.

Re:I bought my PS3 dammit! (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067234)

That's faulty logic. You can do whatever you damn well please with your hardware. All that Sony is saying is that if you connect to their network that you have to abide by their rules. What makes you think that because you bought that little black box that you're entitled to their (keyword) free PSN service? Is it because it advertised it on the box? Yeah, that's a good point. But that's more a case of false or at least exaggerated advertising (if not a very good one) and a far cry from why people are leveling at Sony. Don't get me wrong, I think that Sony is moronic too - but if they're going to provide their (keyword again) FREE service why is wrong for them to stipulate what you can run on it? It's similar to saying that you're not allowed on a network without AV installed, which here of all places I would expect people to understand.

Re:I bought my PS3 dammit! (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067310)

>>All that Sony is saying is that if you connect to their network that you have to abide by their rules

That still doesn't give them permission to hack your machine and violate your constitutional Right to Privacy**.

Well, hey, you don't *have* to use it online, right? No. Like a car being forced to sit in the garage, an offline PS3 is useless, and not what you agreed to when you bought the damn thing.

Or to put it another way, people like you will be very unhappy when their new Murder TOS comes out.

Re:I bought my PS3 dammit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067314)

Why is it so hard for Sony to understand that this is my property and to leave it well enough alone?

It's hard for them to understand this, because you keep buying Sony stuff. Every time you vote, you vote for Sony.

Re:I bought my PS3 dammit! (1)

Massacrifice (249974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067354)

Because int his case they sold you a custom computer (PS3) in the first place, and thus guaranteed you that you could keep on using it for what it was designed to do as long as you didn't fuck with it. From the moment you break away from the deal, they can break away from it too. Don't like it? Don't buy one, or expect them to refuse you support / access. It's not like they were bricking it, or coming to your house to take it back, y'know?

Maybe, Maybe not (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35066940)

If it IS true, then I don't see it as being legal, at all. I certainly do not recall seeing "Sony retains the right to install and execute software in the background, and obtain information about files stored on the device, and engage in general butt fuckery of our users, without user approval" or anything remotely like it in the EULA's.

Re:Maybe, Maybe not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067030)

It depends if they have you agree to an updated EULA before downloading the new firmware. Most people don't ever read them and thus accept this stuff all the time.

Re:Maybe, Maybe not (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067098)

But the ELUA does specify that Sony reserves the right to change the EULA whenever they want. Next time you read it they might even quote you ;) /end sarcasm

Re:Maybe, Maybe not (2)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067282)

The problem is that if they don't call out that they're doing this change and make it clear instead of in the fine print, it may negate their EULA as some of this is really non-enforceable from start to finish. You must, for example, give ample notice that you're changing the terms and doing it in a firmware update isn't it. (Makes the change non-enforceable...) Also, just because they can claim they can do this in the EULA doesn't mean they're legally allowed to do it. It's a sold item. It's roughly analogous (to use the classic /. bad car analogy...) to Ford coming to your house after you bought your car to forcibly update the firmware on your Fusion's onboard electronics to ensure that only Ford parts and firmware are running in the vehicle- after the sale of the car and telling you that their EULA allows them to change this and you've no say other than to sell the car. Bad car analogy it might be, but it's analogous- and when you run it through your head that way, you should have issues with it as will the courts (if you can get competent counsel that is...not all attornies are cut from the same bolt of cloth...)

Re:Maybe, Maybe not (1)

TheAlgebraist (1900322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067250)

Pretty sure there's something in there about being able to modify software on the ps3 to improve Service. What you failed to notice is 'Butt fuckery service, written "Service", is the fuckery of users buttocks.' in the definitions bit around page 347. Pretty sure this is boilerplate legalese. Of course, this is only possible because of the strike down of sodomy laws a few years ago.

Be careful what you wish for.

Last time I heard of such a feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35066944)

it was in a botnet named conficker

Double Standard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35066982)

How come nobody complained about this when Microsoft implemented this?
Both Microsoft and Sony should be taking heat for implementing this.

A penny saved... (1)

Goboxer (1821502) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067004)

I'm suddenly very happy that I decided not to buy a PS3. It's too bad, because it really was an attractive system.

Re:A penny saved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067180)

Agreed.

I only have a 360, which at the moment is being repaired. Yes, RRoD, but after 4.5 years of good performance, I'll give it some maintenance. At least with the 360 things are straightforward and Microsoft knows how to not be evil.

Convenience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067006)

No longer will I need to pull down my pants and bend over. I welcome the new steamlined backdoor access.

Get over it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067040)

I bought a device I could do anything with, install anything, write any kind of code, use for whatever purpose I want....its called a computer.

I bought a PS3 to play games, watch blu-rays, stream video. While it may not do everything I want as well as I would like, I am really not interested in installing someone else's hack. I don't believe some Joe living in a basement goes through the same kinds of quality control as Sony developers, so I am not going to corrupt my entertainment experience on the naive whims of a few anarchists.

So, Sony can do whatever they want to my PS3, over the years they have only made the experience better on it. If I want to hack a device to do what I want, I will buy a computer for that. Its cheaper, more powerful and more flexible.

Rumors are not news. (1)

derrickh (157646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067080)

You're posting an unsubstantiated rumor accusing someone of something pretty major. A rumor overheard in an IRC chatroom.
I don't expect /. to require New York Times level of journalism (or even Fox News) but come on.

D

Warden? (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067102)

Sounds like something from World of Warcraft? They download code that executes and without proper handshaking they know you've done something funny. Not quite the same as the Warden stuff but close enough and a real PITA to get around I'd expect. If this is simply a hook to allow the download\execute of code it's potentially a real bear to solve short of not using their network. :-(

One more reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067120)

Well this just adds one more reason to why I'll personally not be buying another Sony product ever again... When my PS2, Wega TV and DVD player go that's it...

Fanboys make me Laugh (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067134)

the same as Microsoft uses to detect and ban 360's

Um, no? M$ uses the MAC and unique console ID and does the banning entirely on their own end. There is no code executed on the 360 at all.

If this is more than speculation, couldn't Sony be tried for the same 'hacker' bullshit they tried some kids for over the last few years, which I believe was "using a computer system without authorization" or something along those lines? If it's not legal for us, it's not legal for them.

PS3 botnet 4tw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067182)

So now we are waiting for some kind of PS3 botnet to emerge on top of it ? Sony = lol

What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067216)

How long before this capability is hijacked by malware?

How is it different from normal firmware updates? (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067276)

Normal firmware updates are essentially non-consensual, so I don't get what is to sensationalize about pushing point releases as well as big updates over the PSN.

Disclaimer: I don't own a PlayStation 3, but I am fairly certain you don't have the option of running old firmwares, you're forced to upgrade anyway if you want to play any games.

This Will Hurt Sony's Bottom Line (1)

_bug_ (112702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067316)

Future PS3 games will require the latest firmware be installed in order to play.

There's no way in hell I want to install a firmware that intentionally creates a backdoor into my system.

Therefore I have no other choice but to stop buying PS3 games. Sony will be losing my (albeit small) source of revenue and perhaps others will handle the situation in a similar way. Thus Sony loses out on revenue they'd otherwise have had they not made this move.

And I wonder if those in such a position will turn to piracy simply because they don't want to install a backdoored firmware -- further hurting Sony's bottom line.

Sony really doesn't seem to think these things through.

Proofreading, motherfucker. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35067322)

Vectormatic noted the rumor floating around that the most recent PS3 patch has a back door that and

Do you do it?

Still, it is their network (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35067352)

The rules have always been quite simple. You can do whatever you want with your PS3 as long as you don't go onto Sony's gaming network. Microsoft does the same thing with its Xbox Live - you play by the rules or not at all. The sheer number of people whining about this when it's standard boilerplate business practice to control access to your own servers and private network(s) is amazing. When you connect, it verifies that you aren't running any malicious code or hacks/cheats. This has been a staple of online anti-cheating software since the late 90s.

And, no cheating isn't controlled by having "better availability and providing value with a purchase a pirate cant get.", as one person wrote. It's entirely different in a console's case, since the games aren't pirated in the first place. Cheating in online games like this is controlled by making sure that everyone is using the same software and hardware. And, yes, the XBox does this already - they scan your machine and shut you down if you are caught cheating.

Concerning the source, this site really needs to hire someone to double-check new posts for basic common sense and validity before allowing it to.go live. IRC chat? Seriously?

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