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PS3 Internal HDD Encryption is Disabled by Graf Chokolo

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182w 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 and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene updates and homebrew releases!

Comments 33 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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Foo's Avatar
#28 - Foo - 109w ago
Following up on the previous work by PlayStation 3 developer Graf Chokolo, today naehrwert has announced news of a PS3 HDD decryption proof-of-concept (PoC) from a PC as a result of reverse-engineering work done by flat_z and glevand.

Download: [Register or Login to view links] / [Register or Login to view links] (Mirror)

Below are the details (via ps3devwiki.com/wiki/HDD_Encryption), to quote:


  • The following information was reverse engineered from LV1, Storage Manager in LPAR1 and sb_iso_spu_module.self.
  • I'm able to decrypt/encrypt my PS3 HDD and VFLASH on PC now.

HDD Encryption

  • XTS-AES-128 is used to encrypt all data on PS3 HDD.
  • XTS is NOT CBC!!! It's AES-ECB with tweak XORing. AES-CBC is impractical for HDD encryption. Each sector can be encrypted/decrypted independantly from other HDD sectors.
  • Good paper about XTS-AES: ntnu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:347753/FULLTEXT01
  • VFLASH is encrypted twice. First with ENCDEC keys and then with ATA keys.
  • Tweak and data XTS keys are of size 32 bytes but only the first 16 bytes are used.
  • You can set and clear ATA keys with my Linux ps3encdec device driver which i use to test HDD/VFLASH encryption. But be careful, never set/clear ATA keys while some HDD regions/partitions are mounted !!! You will corrupt your data on your HDD !!!

Dumping ATA Keys

  • I modified sb_iso_spu_module.self to dump ATA keys.
  • ATA keys are passed as parameters to sb_iso_spu_module.self.


My SPU program to dump ATA tweak and data XTS keys to PPU memory with spuisofs:




  • To test your ATA XTS tweak and data keys, you need encrypted HDD sectors. You can either connect your HDD to PC and dump it or use my ps3vuart-tools on Linux and clear ATA keys and then dump it from ps3da. I tried both methods. But make sure you unmount all HDD regions before using ps3vuart-tools to clear your ATA keys.
  • I coded a small application which implements XTS-AES encryption/decryption. XTS-AES paper is a good reference how to implement it.
  • You have to pass the correct sector number in order to get correct results.
  • As you see below in my examples, i pass sector number 0 and sector 8 for VFLASH because VFLASH begins at sector 8 on HDD.
  • Another interesting fact is that you have to swap half-words after encrypting and before decrypting HDD sectors else you will get wrong results. This swapping is not necessary for VFLASH sectors.
  • Another note is that you have to decrypt VFLASH sectors with ATA keys first and then with ENCDEC keys.

Result with 1st encrypted sector from HDD:

Dumping ENCDEC Keys

  • VFLASH is encrypted twice. First with ENCDEC keys and then with ATA keys.
  • You cannot dump ENCDEC keys with sb_iso_spu_module.self. They are set in lv1ldr only (see here: gitorious.ps3dev.net/reversing/lv1ldr/trees/master).
  • I used a modified lv1ldr with my Linux spuldrfs driver and dumped ENCDEC keys.
  • XTS-AES-128 with 128bit tweak key and 128bit data key, just like ATA keys.
  • ENCDEC tweak and data keys are passed to lv1ldr NOT in clear text.
  • ENCDEC keys are computed by lv1ldr with AES-CBC-256 by encrypting 32byte seeds.
  • metldr passes to lv1ldr AES-CBC-256 IV and key which are used to compute ENCDEC keys.
  • I tested my ENCDEC keys with my ps3encdec Linux driver and set them again, and VFLASH was still working fine. As soon as i changed some bits in these keys, VFLASH could not be decrypted properly anymore It means keys are correct.

ENCDEC Key Seeds

  • Use the dumped ENCDEC IV and key to encrypt these seeds and you will get your ENCDEC keys for VFLASH.
  • You can find these seeds in lv1ldr.

Data key seed:

Tweak key seed:


Here is my SPU program which i used to dump ENCDEC keys:



  • Test run with spuldrfs on Linux 3.5.1


  • To test your ENCDEC XTS tweak and data keys, you need encrypted VFLASH sectors. You can dump it from ps3da starting with sector 8.
  • You have to pass the correct sector number in order to get correct results.
  • As you see below in my examples, i pass sector 8 for VFLASH because VFLASH begins at sector 8 on HDD.
  • The input sector was already decrypted with ATA keys.

Result with 1st encrypted sector from VFLASH:

Finally, from KDSBest: The keys are on wiki why not expose them in your source code naehrwert. The key generation algo is nearly the same as the eid0 key generation algo. Seed AES Encrypt with EID Root key.

I dunno if this works only a idea of a bored man.

Should read the Adress in lv2 for you. Can someone with a PS3 that can try this... I dunno if I can write the SPRG0 with mtspr, but if that is possible you can dump lv2 with this on 3.55. I don't think Sony changed this syscall on higher FWs.

More PlayStation 3 News...

matt101's Avatar
#27 - matt101 - 182w ago
With Graf_Chokolo working on a 3.55 HV CFW with Dual Boot is it possible to dualboot ofw+cfw... that be a nice option... if at all possible... just a thought...

barrybarryk's Avatar
#26 - barrybarryk - 182w ago
yeah the amount is BS but Sony know that they'll never get a ruling for the full amount. As far as I know it's only a civil suit, they're just trying to send a message. But a very very bad message at that.

It's the same in the geohot case, that's pretty much solely based around the public publishing of the keys not the actual obtaining of the keys.

But now we're way off topic lol.

GotNoUsername's Avatar
#25 - GotNoUsername - 182w ago
Ok didn’t realize that but still the 2 and following points are the same and the ever given amount of money to a firm because of that if I remember right form university have been 300-400K and this have been a ring of pirates selling (and this is important for the amount) Millions of copies in general e.g. one song or movie is limited to 100-300€ per song or film or game (we talk about civil law).

Criminal law depends but if this is his first time in court normal only a low money fine too.

barrybarryk's Avatar
#24 - barrybarryk - 182w ago
you do realise they're suing him for circulating copy-righted material (PSN Eboots) and encouraging others to do the same.

It's to deter him and anyone else from working on the NPDRM encryption and activation techniques.

So in all likelihood he's probably still working on it (HV Hacking and linux on PS3) because it has absolutely nothing to do with his lawsuit

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