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PS3 Internal HDD Encryption is Disabled by Graf Chokolo

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196w ago - This weekend PlayStation 3 hacker Graf Chokolo has disabled the PS3 internal HDD encryption, opening the door to possibilities such as dual-boot PS3 Firmware and using the decrypted PS3 HDD in another console.

Download: ps3dm-utils GIT repository: git://git.dukio.com/ps3dm-utils.git / linux hv scripts GIT repository: git://git.dukio.com/linux_hv_scripts.git

To quote: Even without having a PS3 to work with, graf_chokolo is really active in distributing updates and fixes to his PS3 Linux gits. The latest one comes with an interesting update as you can see from his [Register or Login to view links] below. Maybe one step further to a dual boot PS3 FW?

Guys, take a look at "ps3dm_sm set_del_def_encdec_key" command. You can disable/enable virtual FLASH/internal HDD encryption with that And by patching HV process 9 (which sets ATA keys before loading GameOS) you can disable it permanently. It means you could swap your internal HDD and use it on another PS3. But you have to restore the content on it after disabling encryption because all data will be encrypted of course.

Soon i will implement ENCDEC device driver for PS3 Linux and you will be able to experiment with ATA encryption. ENCDEC device is responsible for VFLASH/HDD encryption on PS3.

For more details, see my HV page here: ps3devwiki.com/index.php?title=Hypervisor_Reverse_Engineering

ps3dm-utils GIT repository: git://git.dukio.com/ps3dm-utils.git

linux hv scripts GIT repository: git://git.dukio.com/linux_hv_scripts.git

And thanks to PS3 Linux fans who help me to test my ps3dm-utils Huge thanks to you guys. I can have fun with PS3 even without having one actually

And thanks to Dukio for his support with this blog and GIT repository.

Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene and PlayStation 4 scene updates and fresh homebrew releases!

Comments 33 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#33 - Foo - 119w ago
Foo's Avatar
Mounting PS3's HDD on PC via Linux by Glevand: ps3devwiki.com/wiki/Mounting_HDD_on_PC

  • The goal is to mount PS3 HDD on PC Linux and make changes to it.
  • Use device mapper for transparent encryption/decryption.

ATA and ENCDEC keys

Read more here: [Register or Login to view links]

Device Mapper

  • A really cool feature of Linux 2.6/3.
  • The device mapper is stackable.
  • You have to enable a couple of new kernel features like device mapper crypto, XTS crypto and so on.


  • Swaps bytes in each 16-bit word.
  • It is necessray for HDD/VFLASH encryption/decryption.
  • Tested on Linux 3.5.3
  • GIT repo: gitorious.ps3dev.net/ps3linux/dm-bswap16

What it should look like on a test run:

[Register or Login to view code]

On a Test with ps3da

  • Tested with Debian LiveCD and Linux 3.4.10
  • xts_aes: gitorious.ps3dev.net/ps3linux/xts_aes

[Register or Login to view code]


  • We don't need xts_aes application anymore.
  • Linux kernel does enctyption/decryption of data transparently for us.
  • One of the device mapper features is that it's stackable which is very useful for us.
  • VFLASH is encrypted twice. So we have to create a second DM crypto target based on the DM crypto target for HDD.

HDD Test
Tested on PS3 itself with Debian LiveCD and Linux kernel version 3.4.10 but you can use the same technique on a Linux PC. I was just lazy and it is easier to test on PS3.

[Register or Login to view code]


[Register or Login to view code]

PS3 HDD Partition Table

  • Now that we can decrypt/encrypt PS3 HDD with Linux, we want to be able to mount HDD/VFLASH regions because only then we can do changes to UFS or FAT filesystems on the HDD.
  • We have to implement PS3 HDD partition table in Linux kernel.
  • The Linux kernel with this feature will create all partition devices automatically in this case and we could mount and modify any HDD regions easily.
  • A new Linux kernel patch is necessary.
  • PS3 partition table is of size 0x1000 bytes.
  • Implemented PS3 partition support in Linux kernel. See patch 0035-ps3-partition.patch here gitorious.ps3dev.net/ps3linux/kernel-patches-35


[Register or Login to view code]

#32 - Neo Cyrus - 122w ago
Neo Cyrus's Avatar
It's nice to see so much progress being made recently. My hat's off to you gentlemen.

#31 - niwakun - 122w ago
niwakun's Avatar
with these, we can use my PC to grab files from HDD? Like act.dat and rif files.

#30 - pinoytechno - 122w ago
pinoytechno's Avatar
thanks for sharing this great news to us sir

#29 - PS3 News - 122w ago
PS3 News's Avatar
I have now promoted the news to the main page and +Rep for the update Foo!


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