Deciphering the Sony PSN Attack

    Date03 Jun 2011
    Posted ByDave Wreski
    For the last month, Sony PS3 online gamers have felt the pain of being disconnected from the Playstation Network (PSN) as the result of a massive network hack. One of those gamers is Veracode security researcher Chris 't0ph' Lytle, who instead of simply complaining about the outage, began to research what was actually going on. Lytle detailed his findings about the PSN attack during a live Black Hat webcast this week. It's a story that begins several months before the crippling attack that has disabled PSN and has as much to do with the actions of Sony as it does with the outage itself.

    Lytle detailed the history of the PS3 modding scene, which is all about getting the PS3 to run things that it was not originally intended to run. One of those things is the ability to run another operating system, most notably Linux. Initially, the PS3 enabled Linux to run on a virtualization hypervisor on top of the default PS3 firmware. Sony revoked that access which has led to a cat and mouse game for much of 2011.

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