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Ban Hammer

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2011-02-21 03:55:26

Ban Hammer

Today's offering is the natural progression from this comic strip. Banning consoles from connecting to your network is the nuclear option, and Sony just went DEFCON 1.

The series of decisions that Sony made leading up to this debacle are Shakespearean in their comedic intensity. You know, like how Lady Macbeth gets her husband to commit treasonous murder by challenging his manhood and setting the nation down the course of horrific widespread bloodshed is funny. By (arrogantly? stupidly? under-the-influence-of-pharmaceutical-agents-ly?) opting to go with a fixed number for their root signature instead of including randomly generated numbers, they made it possible for malcontents capable of REMEDIAL ALGEBRA to hack the PlayStation 3.

And then just in case it was still too difficult to crack, one of their marketing guys posts the code on his Twitter feed.


There's no such thing as perfect security, and every system gets hacked to some degree. Take the rival Xbox 360 console. All you need is a bit of hardware modding, the ability to Google the right tools, and YARR you too can be a pirate. But it's a pain in the ass. Microsoft regularly updates the network software to make this as inconvenient as (reasonably) possible, and for the vast majority of people, it simply isn't worth the hassle. The PS3, on the other hand, is now cracked wide open. A software fix isn't possible, and they can't address this issue on any fundamental level until the next iteration of their hardware. In the meantime, their lawyers are going litigation happy against any coder who so much as MENTIONS the PlayStation 3 on their blog or whatever, and their network guys are bringing the ban hammer left and right.

On the plus side, anyone who wants a PS3 and isn't interested in taking it online should be able to find cheap banned systems on eBay or Craigslist in the days to come.

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