Sony tries to stop PlayStation 3 hackers

Restraining order filed against fail0verflow group that hacked console access codes

Tags: HackingSony Corporation
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Sony tries to stop PlayStation 3 hackers Sony has filed a restraining order against a group of hackers, known as fail0verflow.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  January 13, 2011

Hackers who discovered and published security codes for the PlayStation 3 are facing legal action by Sony.

The published hack potentially allows users to play any game and run software from any company, including pirated software, on their console.

Sony has filed a restraining order against the individuals involved, saying that the hack constitutes copyright infringement and computer fraud.

However, George Hotz, one of the hackers named in the filing says he is not worried about the legal action and is sure that it will not succeed.

"I am a firm believer in digital rights," Hotz told the BBC. "I would expect a company that prides itself on intellectual property to be well versed in the provisions of the law, so I am disappointed in Sony's current action. I have spoken with legal counsel and I feel comfortable that Sony's action against me doesn't have any basis."

The 21-year-old Hotz first rose to hacking fame by breaking the iPhone's security and is named in the Sony lawsuit alongside 100 other people linked with a hacking group known as fail0verflow.

In the lawsuit, Sony asks for a restraining order against Hotz, banning him from hacking and also asks for distribution of the software hack by Hotz and fail0verflow to be stopped.

"Working individually and in concert with one another, the defendants recently bypassed effective technological protection measures employed by Sony," the filed lawsuit states.

"Through the internet, defendants are distributing software, tools and instructions that circumvent the [protection measures] and facilitate the counterfeiting of video games. Already, pirate video games are being packaged and distributed with these circumvention devices."

Sony uses a series of secret codes to protect its consoles from being used with pirated or unauthorised software, one of these codes is a number used as a digital signature on all PS3 games and software. This digital signature is designed to prove that games or software are genuine, but once that code or key is known, it can be used on any software, including pirated games.

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