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    PS3 Glitch Hack Compiled by Eurasia

    PS3 Glitch Hack

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    Category: PS3
    This is an event log for the PS3 Glitch Hack, sorted oldest comes first.


    Hello hypervisor, I'm geohot

    Friday, January 22, 2010
    geohot @ On the PlayStation 3: Hello hypervisor, I'm geohot

    geohot's FPGA setup for the PS3 memory glitch

    I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I've also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip.
    3 years, 2 months, 11 days...thats a pretty secure system
    Took 5 weeks, 3 in Boston, 2 here, very simple hardware cleverly applied, and some not so simple software.
    Shout out to George Kharrat from iPhoneMod Brasil for giving me this PS3 a year and a half ago to hack. Sorry it took me so long
    As far as the exploit goes, I'm not revealing it yet. The theory isn't really patchable, but they can make implementations much harder. Also, for obvious reasons I can't post dumps. I'm hoping to find the decryption keys and post them, but they may be embedded in hardware. Hopefully keys are setup like the iPhone's KBAG.
    A lot more to come...follow @geohot on twitter
    George Hotz (geohot) on Twitter fine, one tweet... i just hacked the PS3... On the PlayStation 3
    Saturday, January 23, 2010
    I know some function names...

    geohot @ On the PlayStation 3: I know some function names...

    function names

    And now if calls have restrictions I don't like, I zap them.
    Monday, January 25, 2010
    What it is and what it isn't

    Source: geohot @ On the PlayStation 3: What it is and what it isn't
    First off, this is not a release blog like "On The iPhone". If you are expecting some tool to be released from this blog like blackra1n, stop reading now. If you have a slim and are complaining this hack won't work for you, stop reading now. WE DO NOT CONDONE PIRACY, NOR WILL WE EVER. If you are looking for piracy, stop reading now. If you want to see the direction in which I will take this blog, read the early entries in the iPhone one. Information on this blog is for research purposes only.
    That aside, I'll tell you what I have so far. I have added two hypercalls, lv1_peek and lv1_poke. peek reads memory in real space(including all the MMIO), poke writes it. I can also add other arbitrary hypercalls as I see fit.
    The hypervisor is complicated, it is written in C++ and is PPC, which I am not that familiar with yet. At first I was trying to add a hypercall to add arbitrary real memory to the LPAR, but it kept crashing(because I can't code), which is really annoying, because I have to wait while Linux reboots.
    Some people pointed out that I have not accessed the isolated SPEs. This is true. Although as far as doing anything with the system, it doesn't matter. The PPE can't read the isolated data, but it can kick the isolated SPEs out. Decrypt the PPE binary you need using the intact SPE and save the decrypted version. Kick out the SPE, and patch the decrypted version all you want. And interesting note, by the time you get to OtherOS, all 7 working SPEs are stopped.
    Despite this, I am working on the isolated SPEs now(which I can now load), because what I'd really like to do is post decryption keys here so you guys can join the fun.
    Tuesday, January 26, 2010
    A level playing field

    geohot @ On the PlayStation 3: A Level Playing Field
    Right now, I'm playing with the isolated SPEs, trying to get metldr to load from OtherOS. Interesting thing, I am not using the exploit. I always assumed the enable isolation mode register was hypervisor privileged. It's not, it's kernel privileged, which means using hypervisor calls you can all get to it. So, get to hacking. Here is the code I am playing with.
    I'm not that opposed to releasing the exploit, but I think the majority of you are going to be disappointed, even if you do get it working. Unless you have pushed the HV to it's limits, this exploit really isn't going to do much for you...yet. So install OtherOS and start playing around. If people start coming up with convincing reasons why they need the exploit to go further, I'll release it. It's just a waste to release if people can't make use of it.
    As far as the GPU goes, I have full access to the GPU memory space 0x2800... But without a driver, it's useless. 3D video card drivers are notoriously hard to write, look at the ATI and NVIDIA ones for linux. The best are still the closed source manufacturer ones. I'm not even sure I believe that the HV restricts video card access, just that the OtherOS driver is 2D. If someone skilled in video card driver development comes forward, and they can explain in detail what the HV is restricting, I'll send them the exploit.
    And something has to be done about the comments. Theres a couple of good ones, mixed in with tons of trash. Please, if you don't have something technical and useful to say, don't say it. This is not the place for congratulations(go back to the hello hypervisor post), debates about piracy(go somewhere else, the internet is big), or trying to convince me to do X.
    Tuesday, January 26, 2010
    Here's your silver platter

    geohot @ On the PlayStation 3: Here's your silver platter
    In the interest of openness, I've decided to release the exploit. Hopefully, this will ignite the PS3 scene, and you will organize and figure out how to use this to do practical things, like the iPhone when jailbreaks were first released. I have a life to get back to and can't keep working on this all day and night.
    Please document your findings on the psDevWiki. They have been a great resource so far, and with the power this exploit gives, opens tons of new stuff to document. I'd like to see the missing HV calls filled in, nice memory maps, the boot chain better documented, and progress on a 3D GPU driver. And of course, the search for a software exploit.
    This (mirror) is the coveted PS3 exploit, gives full memory space access and therefore ring 0 access from OtherOS. Enjoy your hypervisor dumps. This is known to work with version 2.4.2 only, but I imagine it works on all current versions. Maybe later I'll write up how it works.
    I've gotten confirmation the exploit works on 3.10. Also I've heard about compile issues on Fedora. I did this in Ubuntu. I think this qualifies as a nice tutorial at least for the software side.
    This is a good article for what it means for the less technical. A good more technical writeup is here.
    Good luck!
    IRC snip from geohot somewhere explaining the hack

    geohot: well actually it's pretty simple
    geohot: i allocate a piece of memory
    geohot: using map_htab and write_htab, you can figure out the real address of the memory
    geohot: which is a big win, and something the hv shouldn't allow
    geohot: i fill the htab with tons of entries pointing to that piece of memory
    geohot: and since i allocated it, i can map it read/write
    geohot: then, i deallocate the memory
    geohot: all those entries are set to invalid
    geohot: well while it's setting entries invalid, i glitch the memory control bus
    geohot: the cache writeback misses the memory
    geohot: and i have entries allowing r/w to a piece of memory the hypervisor thinks is deallocated
    geohot: then i create a virtual segment with the htab overlapping that piece of memory i have
    geohot: write an entry into the virtual segment htab allowing r/w to the main segment htab
    geohot: switch to virtual segment
    geohot: write to main segment htab a r/w mapping of itself
    geohot: switch back
    geohot: PWNED
    geohot: and would work if memory were encrypted or had ECC
    geohot: the way i actually glitch the memory bus is really funny
    geohot: i have a button on my FPGA board
    geohot: that pulses low for 40ns
    geohot: i set up the htab with the tons of entries
    geohot: and spam press the button
    geohot: right after i send the deallocate call
    George Hotz (geohot) on Twitter PS3 exploit released...good luck community On the PlayStation 3
    Friday, February 5th, 2010
    PS3 Exploit: Software

    xorloser @ PS3 Exploit: Software xorloser’s blog
    As I’m sure everybody heard, the memory access exploit for the PS3 hypervisor was released recently by geohotz. I was finally able to replicate his hack so I thought I’d take the time to help out others who may also have trouble due to being linux n00bs like me If I were to post everything at once it would be too much work and I’d never get around to it, so I’ll post bits at a time to ensure I actually do post it heh. Today’s post will talk about the software side of the exploit.
    Please note that the geohotz exploit software was hardcoded for the v2.42 firmware, I have made a small fix that attempts to dynamically support all firmware versions. I have only tested and used it on v3.15 however.
    Fixed PS3 Exploit Files (mirror)
    The first step is to install Linux on your PS3 which means of course that this will not work on a slim PS3. I tried a few different Linux distros and after various different issues I settled on using Ubuntu v8.10 since this is the same version that geohotz used. I suggest using the “alternate” version since it includes a gui which the “server” version does not. You can download the 636MB image below, I suggest using the legal torrent below to save the bandwith of the Ubuntu servers.
    Ubuntu for PS3 v8.10 alternate – Torrent
    Ubuntu for PS3 v8.10 alternate – Direct Download
    After downloading, burn the image to a CD-R and install as you would any OtherOS install. There are many generic and also Ubuntu specific guides for doing this, so I won’t cover that here.
    Once you have Linux up and running you should log in using the username you created during install. Now open a terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal). You can enable the root account by creating a password for it by typing “sudo passwd”. You then enter your current users password once and then the new root password twice. The root account will now be usable.
    Now type “su” and then enter the new root password to get root access. Create a dir to put everything in. You could probably create this in your home directory, but I created it in the root of the filesystem so that I can share it between root and my user account as well as setting up access to it via samba from my PC. To create the dir do “mkdir /ps3share”, you can call it anything you want, I call it ps3share because I share it with my PC over samba. Now allow all users to read and write to it by doing “chmod a+rw /ps3share”. Finally give ownership of it to your normal user account by doing “chown username:username /ps3share” where username is your username.
    Next you need to get the “fixed” exploit software onto your PS3. Using a USB flashdrive is easiest. Copy the extracted files onto it from your PC, then insert it into your PS3. It should automount and bring up an icon on your desktop. Double click the icon to open the file browser. Right click on the USB drive in the filebrowser and choose to “Open in New Window”. Then on the left side of the file browser select “File System” and then “ps3share”. Now drag the files from the USB drive into your “ps3share” directory.
    I have included a binary of the exploit file for those of you who don’t want to build it yourself, but for those who do here is how. First you need to fix the location of the kernel headers so they can be found by the build scripts, so do “mv /usr/src/linux-ports-headers-2.6.25-2/ /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.25-2/”. Now change to the directory with the exploit source in it “cd /ps3share/ps3_exploit_fixed/src” and then build it by typing “make”. There will be a lot of warnings but it should create the file “exploit.ko”.
    You are now set to run the software side of the exploit. DO NOT run it from this terminal while in the GUI, it should only be run from console mode. If you do run it you will not see anything happening, but your PS3 will suddenly become really slow and you will have to turn it off. More about the running of it in a future post. A summary of the commands to enter at the terminal is below:
    sudo password

    (then enter users password once, then the new password for root twice)


    (then enter root password)

    mkdir /ps3share

    chmod a+rw /ps3share

    chown username:username /ps3share

    (where username is replaced by your username)

    Now copy the exploit files into /ps3share.

    mv /usr/src/linux-ports-headers-2.6.25-2/ /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.25-2/

    cd /ps3share/ps3_exploit_fixed/src

    Monday, February 8th, 2010
    PS3 Exploit: Hardware

    xorloser @ PS3 Exploit: Hardware xorloser’s blog
    This post will deal with the hardware required to trigger the PS3 hypervisor memory access exploit. The purpose of the hardware is to stop the PS3 from saving a change to a value that we don’t want changed. The PS3 saves this changed value by writing the value to RAM. Therefore in order to stop it from saving the changed value we need to stop this write from occurring.
    The PS3 sends the write command to the RAM over some control lines, so we interfere with these control lines when the write command is sent. The result we want is having the PS3 think it has successfully written the value to RAM, but the RAM didn’t receive the write command due to our interference and so it did not perform the write operation.
    The easiest (and moderately safe) way to interfere with these control lines is to ground them. This is done easily enough by connecting a wire between one of the control lines and ground. The tricky part is timing it just right so that it only interferes with the write we want to stop, and not anything that occurs before or after this write. This might be achievable with costly equipment and a lot of work, however geohotz used the simple method of “luck”. This involves repeatedly preparing the situation to best favour the chance of overwriting the correct write command and then continually grounding a control line until either something crashes that shouldn’t or the mark is hit stopping the write operation from occurring. At this point the exploit has been successfully triggered!
    Now that you know how it works it is time to implement it. A connection is required to the control line that will be grounded as well as a connection to ground. These two wires then need to be connected to each other momentarily. If you were to try and do this manually as fast as you could you might connect them for a millisecond or so, however RAM control lines are very fast so 1ms is going to interfere with way too many commands. Instead these lines need to be connected to some hardware that is able to bridge the connection between then for very small periods of time at once. Geohotz suggests a connection period of 40 nanoseconds.
    There are many ways that some hardware can be made to perform this short connection. Geohotz used an FPGA he had on hand in order to do it. Others have suggested using a 555 timer, however I have not heard of anyone having any success with this method. I used a small sx28 microcontroller I had on hand due to using it for a project some years ago. It runs at 50MHz with an instruction cycle of 20 nanoseconds, which means it should be fast enough to provide the 40 nanosecond connection required.
    The first step is to take apart your PS3 in order to expose the top side of the motherboard. Once you do so look for one of the following areas on it depending on what version PS3 you have.
    This first picture is from an old 60GB PS3 which came with the 4 USB ports and the card readers. You can see I have soldered a wire to the side of a resistor. This is the connection to the PS3 RAM control line that you need to solder on. I suggest you route this wire down and then to the left of the two pronged power plug you can see. My wire continues downward in this picture, but I found that doing so caused interference in the wire that would unintentinally trigger RAM corruptions. To avoid this you should route it to the left underneath the power plug so that it then comes out of the left side of the PS3 case. You can use a long wire during installation, but try to keep it short when you finalise its routing and final positioning. You can see I used a hot glue gun to ensure any stress placed on the wire will not pull at the solder joint.

    Old PS3 motherboard

    This second picture is from an 80GB PS3 with 2 USB ports and no card readers. This was the model that was out just before the “fat” PS3s were replaced by the “slim” PS3s, so it is a newer motherboard revision where there are two RAM chips on both sides of the motherboard instead of all four on one side. In this picture I have circled the trace you should solder to for your RAM control line connection. In order to solder to this I used a craft knife to carefully scratch the paint off the top of the trace to expose the copper underneath which I then soldered a wire to. Once connected you should route this wire straight down towards the front of the case to best avoid interference in the wire from other parts of the PS3. Once again try to keep the final wire nice and short.

    New PS3 motherboard

    Next you need to get a ground connection. This is done the same way for both motherboard versions and is very easy. You can just wrap a wire around any of the metal screws that screw into the metal shielding that covers the top of the motherboard. You don’t even need to solder it, just wrap it under the screw head and screw it into place This wire should be routed out of the console next to to your other control line wire.
    The above two wire connections are common to any implementation of a hardware trigger. The following is specific to how I did my hardware trigger but you may implement your trigger however you want. Note that I initially tried wiring 5 Volts of power out next to these lines but doing so continually resulted in unwanted interference in the control line causing the PS3 to crash while booting.
    For my hardware trigger I used an SX28 microcontroller which I bought years ago as part of this programming kit. To use the SX28 you need the SX28 chip, a way of programming the chip (usually an SX-Key or SX-Blitz) and an oscillator to drive the SX28 chip at 50MHz. All of these are included in the above programming kit. Maybe if enough people buy from them and mention xorloser they’ll send me a USB version of the SX-Key instead of my old serial based one :/
    Below is a crappy schematic of my circuit which I drew in windows paint. Please note that I am using the programming kit I mentioned above which utilises the SX-Key programmer in place of an oscillator while the SC-Key is attached. I do not have an external oscillator so I’ll leave the hooking up of that to you. Just take note that you do need either an oscillator or SX-Key attached in order to make the chip run.

    SX28 Schematic

    This SX28 sourcecode (mirror) is the last piece of the puzzle. Program this to your SX28 chip using the free SX-Key Editor software from the Parallax. Once this is all hooked up to your PS3 you should be able to send a “pulse” (grounding of the control line) to the PS3 by pressing the switch. You should use a temporary-on push button switch to do so since it will keep sending pulses every 100ms if the switch stays connected. The LED on the right side of the schematic is just there to give the operator some feedback. It will light up when a pulse is sent to let you know that the circuit is working as it should. I should mention that if you look at my SX28 sourcecode you will see that it appears as if I am sending a 360 nanosecond long pulse. I do not know how long the pulse is that actually gets sent as I do not have any hardware that I can measure the pulse with (yet). Possibly there are hardware induced delays that occur when changing the direction of the port which means that although I am waiting 360 ns, it still only sends a pulse that is about 4o ns. To arrive at the 360 ns value I tried many values making the pulse as short as I could until it didn’t trigger anymore, then I increased it just a little bit to get the shortest pulse that still works.
    Phew, this is finally the end of this post. My next post will tie it all together along with some software I have written to dump your own hypervisor and more. Cya.
    Monday, February 8th, 2010
    PS3 Exploit Setup

    xorloser @ PS3 Exploit Setup xorloser’s blog
    Just a quick pic of it all working together cos everyone loves pictures!
    This is the PS3 with the newer motherboard where the socket I installed in the front actually looks nice, the other one was a bit of a hack job

    eploit setup

    Saturday, February 13, 2010
    On the Isolated SPUs

    geohot @ On the PlayStation 3: On the Isolated SPUs
    Today I verified my theories about running the isolated SPUs as crypto engines. I believe that defeats the last technical argument against the PS3 being hacked.
    In OtherOS, all 7 SPUs are idle. You can command an SPU(which I'll leave as an exercise to the reader) to load metldr, from that load the loader of your choice, and from that decrypt what you choose, everything from pkgs to selfs. Including those from future versions.
    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.
    Ah, but you still didn't get the Cell root key. And I/we never will. But it doesn't matter. For example, we don't have either the iPhone or PSP "root key". But I don't think anyone doubts the hackedness of those systems.
    I wonder if any systems out there are actually secure?
    George Hotz (geohot) on Twitter Today I validated my theories about running the isolated SPUs on the PS3 as crypto engines. The PS3 is 100% hacked. So where my homebrew at?
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