Facebook Confirms Hiring George 'Geohot' Hotz

17

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

headkase

I want to give a bit of what actually happened for anyone who happens to come to this post in ages to come.

 

Hotz did not start out as a PS3 cracker.  He was originally working on the "OtherOS" part of it that used to let it run Linux.  You know, the part no-one was interested in but people who like to modify technology.  Everyone else was satisfied with just having their games.  Hotz was working to improve the performance of the graphics sub-system of Linux on the PS3.  As it stood, all graphics functions had to go through the "HyperVisor" which by nature really slowed them down.  Hotz's work was on by-passing the hypervisor for graphics calls.  That would have significantly sped up Linux graphics calls.  Unfortunately Sony had the hypervisor in place to prevent complete control of the machine.  Because if you had complete control you could, theoretically, play pirated games.  There is a big difference in the theoretical and what Hotz was actually working on.  Now, Hotz had some success in getting around the hypervisor, and around that time without explicitly saying it was because of Hotz's success Sony removed completely the OtherOS function.  You could choose to keep your existing firmware but then you wouldn't be able to play newer games so it really wasn't a choice at all.  So, Hotz received a lot of flack over the situation in the Open Source community about it.  So, he decided since he felt partly responsible he would go ahead and modify newer firmwares that were released to support the older OtherOS functionality.  This had a side-effect of also enabling pirated games.  But, none of that functionality was in Hotz's work: other people would have had to take what he did for one purpose and actually change it further to actually make pirated games work.  I don't know if anyone's ever done that.

We've come a long way, back when Photocopiers first came out - they were called "Xerox" machines back then - there was a law-suit against them because they *could* be used for copyright infringement.  The ruling that eventually came down was that as long as they had *some* non-infringing uses then they were legal despite that they could be used to infringe.  This all changed in 1998 with the passage of a law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  That law made it a crime to bypass *any* copyright protection mechanism: no matter how trivial it was.  So, to do any of the MILLION things you could possibly do with a modified PS3 you have to do the one thing that enables (even if others have to further modify what you did) piracy: you have to bypass the protection mechanism because otherwise what you write simply won't run on a PS3.

So, starting in 1998: you really don't own an Xbox 360 or a PS3 when you put your money down for it in a store.  Because you are forbidden from hacking (not in the common "negative" sense) the machine to do what you want.

If you are at all interested: search for "freedom to tinker."

avatar

f104chrome

 Sony is a turd for cancelling OtherOS, which i'm sure brought on by some extent to ppl using their ps3 for nothing but none gaming activity(such as the hundreds bought by Air Force), if what they say is right , which is that the console is a no profit device and money is made off sale of games. in that case they couls have bundled a couple best selling games with the console to make profit right off the bat.

 Hotz is a turd for telling/showing ppl how to use pirated games on a sony system. At least he made a deal and gave over other's info to save himself from being someones girlfriend in jail, now thats a real hero.

avatar

headkase

From my point of view: not really owning the things you purchase doesn't matter all that much to you..

avatar

headkase

I'm not that old but I distinctly remember a time when I was a teenager when the REAL issue behind Geohot and Sony was different.  See, you youngin's, back then: when you bought something from the store you could do whatever the bleep you wanted with it.  Seriously, solder all kinds of crazy LED's on the thing: go hard.  Nowadays, things have changed: you bought something at a store but you really don't own it..  Dare to solder a proverbial LED onto the thing and the Nazi manufacturer comes along and bankrupts you before throwing you in the klink.  Yeah, that's progress.

avatar

ChyITGuru

Well is hes a hacker because he found a loop hole is Sony's hardware and software then we must all be hackers since we mod out computers, overclock our computer, modify the registry on our machines and oh no download and use pirated software, movies and music. get a life.......

avatar

bling581

So many uninformed people who don't have a clue. Clearly he's a "hacker" because he modded and hacked his PS3 hardware. Now he's going to wreak havock and hack Facebook accounts....

Yeah right, why don't you Sony fanboys get over your rage and go enjoy your free games and month of PSN.

 

avatar

AnomalousEllipse

Why would he even want to hack everyone's facebook? He hacked the PS3 for optimization, he's not a black hat in any way. Nothing to worry about here, move on to your next outrage.

avatar

DDRDiesel

I would like to clear up a few things here.  Things that people must have gotten confused about somewhere down the road:

 

1) George Hotz is, first and foremost, a hardware hacker.  He hacked the contents of the firmware and hardware to allow things like OtherOS, and opened the floodgates for playing "Unlicensed" (i.e.: Pirated) games.  He never once, to my knowledge, attempted to hack accounts, or seek "Revenge" against Sony

 

2) Thanks to the court orders and injunction from Sony, George Hotz can't even do anything against Sony or the PS3 anymore anyway.  Otherwise, he would face some serious fines and jail time.

 

3) Without being able to access anything from Sony, or have anything to do with the PSN, PS3, and any related hardware, why would he even want to hack the accounts?  First he would have to get through Facebook's security, then find people who are in support of Sony, then come up with the code to get all of their names and passwords.

 

4) This guy gained internet and media fame alike for his hacking skills, so I'm pretty sure that Facebook is going to keep him on a tight enough leash as it is.  I wouldn't be surprised if his actions were monitored by Facebook, or at least sandboxed with limited accesss to anything else

avatar

ChatterboxChuck

I would like to clear up your things on this as well:

1) Just because "you" do't know if he has doesn't mean he can't. Hardware hacking is still software hacking as he hacked the software built into the hardware. no deifference buddy. It's all code and probably all the same to him.

2) Although true this doesn;t mean he will be a good guy from here on. If this were so our justice system would not have so many repeat offenders.

3) Why not hack the accounts? Besides, what do the facebook accounts have anything to do directly with Sony hardware? Nothing so it's not like he's gonna need Sony hardware to hack facebook accounts. BTW, if he will be working for facebook then security will be at his fingertips as he will likely be working with the software directly, otherwise why hire him? And finding Sony fans will be as easy as finding Sony's page and checking out everyone who liked it.

4) facebook has a history of not giving a shit about peoples privacy. I am not sure why they would be watching this guy so closely. if anything their beliefe they are too big and powerful will make them think no one will be dumb enough to mess with their system. I bet that's what everyone else though before Lulz hacked them.

So you see, one can give the benefit of the doubt that this guy would have to be the dumbest person in the world to do something stupid with facebook accounts that like Sony, but then he had to be stupid to be famous for doing something bad in the first place. After all, it's not like Sony sued him for being a good person.

avatar

DDRDiesel

Now to clear up what you muddled:

 

1) Firmware hacking is hardware-specific.  Hacking code and brute-forcing passwords is software.  Just because he exploited a loophole in the FIRMWARE does not mean he is a Black Hat hacker, as one of the other posts said

 

2) I said this just in case people were reading and only knew half the story (example: "Blah blah blah, he hacked Sony, Sony failz, he'll just do it again, trololol")

 

3) Like I said before, he was never classified as a Black Hat hacker.  He hasn't done anything malicious, just tweaked some firmware on what USED to be an OPEN-SOURCE console.  Working at Facebook doesn't necessarily mean that the security, or lack thereof, is going to be "At his fingertips."  If that were the case, then why haven't the secretaries, janitors, or even the higher-ups accessed the accounts.  After all, it's right at their fingertips, is it not?  Lastly, "Liking" Sony on Facebook doesn't necessarily mean they "Like" it because of the PS3.  Sony is a major conglomerate with products in nearly every department of home entertainment, and then some.  Going after all those accounts is like going after everyone who likes cherry lollipops because a bully took yours away when you were 5.  After all, Geohot even said he wants nothing to do with them ever again, he's over it.

 

4) I would love someone to post at least three articles, containing definitive proof that Facebook never cared about customer privacy and security, or that their security was lax enough to get hacked.  Especially after what Geohot did, as well as the rumors, there are possibilities that he is working on something very big for Facebook.  Remember, he didn't ONLY hack the PS3.  He also has a couple of zero-day jailbreaks under his belt.  It's possible, even likely, that Facebook hired him to help develop the Facebook for iPad App, as well as other projects.  His work, if Facebook does what I think they do, will be sandboxed, monitored, and reported daily, if not weekly.  He's a kid.  End of story.

 

And for the record...  I'll be damned to think that LulzSec was able to hack a major social network site like Facebook without it being huge news, not to mention they wouldn't anyway.  Their media attention was reliant on services like Twitter and Facebook to get the word out and further spread the worldwide panic.  Of course, that was before j35t3r decided to take them down (Kind of.  Read my other posts from my profile to understand what I mean). 

avatar

TerribleToaster

For as much as he represented a good cause, GeoHot is kinda an ass. So the fact that facebook hired him just seems to click so well with it being the center of the proverbial shitstorm of assery.

avatar

kixofmyg0t

Agreed.

avatar

kixofmyg0t

Either that or he's gonna siphon information from people on fb that like Sony. I can see alot of fb security breeches coming in the future. Time to cancel my fb. 

avatar

TerribleToaster

Well that came out of left field.

avatar

kixofmyg0t

I think it's safe to assume geohot isn't a Sony fan. So the temptation of grabbing all the passwords(cuz fb doesn't store them in salted hashes btw, and anyone can brute force them with a few 6000 series Radeon's in a few hours fyi)of users that are "fans" of Sony must be enormous. Remember most people's passwords are both A: weak and B: the same for everything. 

avatar

Recidivist

Shut the hell up -.-'

avatar

Ghok

Just ignore him. He has never made a post that wasn't flamebait.

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.