Obviously notorious George Hotz has managed to get all 7 SPUs of the Playstation 3’s CPU under his control. This means although he cannot access the CPU’s root key, he now can decrypt everything that’s going thru these SPUs like datastreams of (encrypted) commercial games.
The PPU is higher on the control chain then the SPUs. Even if checks were to be added to, for example, verify the hypervisor before decrypting the kernel, with clever memory mappings you can hide your modified hypervisor.
In the meantime another hacker going under the nick XorLoser has released a more detailed manual of how to use GeoHot’s exploitation files and how to do the glitching.
Besides that XorLoser maintains a plugin for reverser’s beloved Interactive Disassembler (IDA) that contains special PPC instructions for Xbox360 and PS3.
Congratulations to GeoHot. Kudos fly out to XorLoser.
Notorious iPhone hacker GeoHot has succesfully circumvented the Playstation’s security system. According to his latest blog entry, he has dumped LV0 and LV1 code, thus allowing him to (theoretically) run code on the processor, bypassing the hypervisor.
The Playstation’s hypervisor is intended to run third party software (like Yellow Dog Linux) on a virtualized level, thus maintaining system integrity and protection of the host system. Within this virtualized environment arbitrary access to certain hardware devices has been disabled, thus allowing only basic access to the graphic processing unit (GPU) for example.
GeoHot seems to have broken the chain of trust. This means he can bypass the hypervisor to directly access hardware like the GPU with his custom code. Anyway he has not released any further information or proof of his work. But hey, it is not anyone, it is GeoHot, so it seems solid.
We compiled some links for people being interested in the hypervisor protection topic.
Mark Papermaster, formerly known as IBM’s Vice President of Microprocessor Technology Development, got hired by Apple. Papermaster was employed with IBM for the last 26 years, where he was actively involved in the development of the Power PC architecture and IBM’s Blade Server.
IBM now filed a lawsuit against Papermaster. They say he breaks his IBM work contract. IBM says the contract includes a term that disallows Papermaster to work with a competitive company like Apple within a period of 12 months after quitting.
Papermaster is indended to be the successor of Tony Fadell at Apple. Fadell was the Senior Vice President of the iPod Development Unit, thus reporting directly to Steve Jobs.