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Full PS3 QA Flagging Method Revealed - Button Combo and Token


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165w ago - Following up on the previous article, today the full PS3 QA Flagging Method has been revealed including the button combo and token alongisde a PS3 QA Tutorial from Slynk.

To quote: A few weeks ago, several steps were revealed in the process of unlocking a special Quality Assurance (QA) mode on your PS3 console. The mode unlocks a special mode, which is typically only meant for official Sony testers.

Unfortunately, the steps revealed were only part of the process. Developers were scrambling to figure out the button combo that unlocked the special QA mode. In addition, developers still needed to figure out what to change in the QA dummy token. These two mysteries prevented developers from unlocking the mode.

Today however, the Quality Assurance mystery comes to an end. An anonymous and reputable source exclusively revealed to us the two remaining steps. The secret button combination that unlocks the hidden QA mode was revealed to us as being L1+L2+L3+R1+R2+dpad down. Furthermore, the anonymous source told us that users need to change byte 48 of the token seed to 0x02.

Combining this new information with the previously released QA information, developers have everything they need to unlock the mode. Please note, this is not to be attempted by beginners. However, with all of the information revealed here, developers will be able to create an application or custom firmware that automates the QA process.

Information courtesy of anonymous source: Change byte 48 of the token seed to 0x02, hash it, encrypt it, write it to eeprom and flag yourself. Button combo is L1+L2+L3+R1+R2+dpad down. Only works on retail firmware.

By byte 48, I mean the 48th byte. Note that in programming the array of the token seed begins with index 0. So the 48th byte would be seed[47];

This info is more than enough to get someone to make an app.

Previously released information regarding QA Mode:


*runs away before the lawsuits come flooding in*

HMAC to make the 20 byte digest at the end of the token and erk/iv to decrypt/encrypt it with aes256cbc.

2 more steps to go. Need the button combo and what to change in the dummy token.

Brief Guide on How to QA Flag your PS3:

  • Be on 3.55 OFW (not Kmeaw or Rebug CFW)
  • Move the PS3 cursor/select “Network Setting”
  • Punch the following button combo with your PS3 controller: L2 + L1 + R1 + R2 + L3 + D-pad Down
  • That's it, the “Edy Viewer”, “Debug Settings”, “Install Package” Menu will now appear.

Notes: Install Package is useless and can’t install homebrew at the moment – only signed PKGs (and the first one in root of USB only).

Finally, to quote from [Register or Login to view links]: So since this QA thing is worthless anyway - here is the button combo - you need to have the cursor on 'Network Settings' - (it needs to be 3.55 OFW BTW - Rebug won't work - I've already established that) - and do the following button combo - L2 + L1 + R1 + R2 + L3 + D-pad Down.

There's your button combo. 'Edy Viewer' will pop up - Debug Settings will pop up - Install Package will pop up (but it's kinda useless anyway since only retail packages will install, and only the first PKG on the root of the USB stick - yes - seriously). Now you only need to figure out the rest. Yes, this one works - don't worry about it - just go figure out the rest.

BTW - in case some people immediately start trying this out and telling me 'Hey Square - this doesn't bleepin* work' - remember - there are still some pieces of the puzzle missing - the 'community' needs to figure these out. But the button combo is in the bag - don't worry about it anymore, don't go fruitlessly reversing anymore looking for a possible sign of life of this 'button combo' - you've got it. Now figure out the rest.






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 125 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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HeyManHRU's Avatar
#5 - HeyManHRU - 171w ago
Typical Mathieulh.

lirogames's Avatar
#4 - lirogames - 171w ago
crazy.. rs

PS3 News's Avatar
#3 - PS3 News - 171w ago
Heh indeed, it's only a matter of time before Sony catches up but until then his antics keep the PS3 scene entertained with GeoHot not hacking the PlayStation 3 any longer.

scrapdoggzilla's Avatar
#2 - scrapdoggzilla - 171w ago
"I am not telling you how to do this"

didn't take nostradamus to see that coming...

PS3 News's Avatar
#1 - PS3 News - 171w ago
Today Sony PlayStation 3 hacker Mathieulh has posted a video demo showcasing the PS3 QA flag, which is the internal console flag used by Sony to enable hidden Firmware options and removes restrictions on Retail and Debug consoles.

This is done on official PS3 Retail/Debug firmware without any modification as the console itself is QA flagged (QA token is set through spu_token_processor), meaning the method will not work on unflagged consoles and using the advanced QA flag also enables PS3 Firmware downgrading.

From the video's caption: I just QA flagged my Metal Gear Solid 4 Limited Edition console and I thought I'd show you the hidden options for the sake of it (and because I was bored).

I am sorry for the unstable camera, I only have two hands and the options are hidden and require (along with the actual flag) a crazy button combo to pop up. (I kid you not)

Sorry I am not telling you how to do this, please do not ask. Yes, this video is real.

QA flag is the internal console flag used by Sony, it enables hidden options and removes restrictions for both retail and debug consoles alike. It is used for QA centers and the R&D Department, there are 2 levels of QA flags, Minimum and Advanced, this console has been set to the Advanced one.
































From PS3 hacker [Register or Login to view links], to quote: Ever since Mathieulh released his video, some people just want to QA flag their consoles. Now, let me tell you one thing, it’s so not easy.

Besides, if you want to use the QA flag, you have to have a valid QA token, and you have to be on a specific firmware range. Now, what’s so special about the token is that it’s generated in a funny way, I am not going to disclose that here. But, remember, PS3 hypervisor can also make tokens. But these tokens.. don’t do /anything/ except just unlock the QA repository node.

Besides, the fancy menu requires a very weird key combo on the Sixaxis, and it only works on retails. On debugs, it just removes all restrictions. Remember, the QA flag in Syscon also requires a valid token.

The damn button combo isn’t the token. The token is an array of bits that are located in syscon, and by default are set to 0xFF for not set! You can make a token from HV-UM, but it won’t do anything.

And on IDPS: This is the IDPS, a sequence of bytes which determine console type. This structure is relatively undocumented until now, anyway. The IDPS is contained in EID0. EID0 is on the console internal flash as the file eEID and has multiple sections.



I had made a splitter application to make your life easier a long time ago. Now, EID is decrypted by metldr, and is passed over to the isolated loader, which may pass it to a self. We can see this in graf_chokolo’s original payload. The IDPS is also used in various other parts of the system which could be of interest to you, but I will not discuss those right now. The IDPS itself, isn’t decrypted.

The IDPS contains your target ID, motherboard? and BD? revision. The IDPS shown at the beginning of this article is the dummy IDPS, the one that’s used when your IDPS fails to be decrypted. That IDPS belongs to a DECR-1000A. The one below belongs to a European PS3, and the one below that belongs to a Australian/NZ PS3.

Here’s a list of target IDs:

Value Console Type
81 Reference Tool (DECR)
82 Debug (DECH)
83 Retail Japanese
84 Retail America/Canada
85 Retail Europe
86 Retail South Korea
87 Retail United Kingdom
88 Retail Mexico
89 Retail Australia/New Zealand
8A Retail South Asia
8B Retail Taiwan
8C Retail Russia
8D Retail China (Never released)
A0 System Debugger (Sony Internal)





Finally, here is the method to enable the QA flag by [Register or Login to view links], a third video is posted from Felix Domke (aka adrianc/tmbinc) and some further details from IRC:

[03:45:37] Mathieulh: QA flag's a btch xD
[03:45:57] Mathieulh: they actually protected it better than EID0 itself
[03:46:09] Mathieulh: which is utterly stupid but that's sony
[03:46:12] PsHellcat: q': would access to a QA'ed DEH help? (I know someone who *might* get one - and no, not me)
[03:46:29] Mathieulh: npt ?
[03:46:34] PsHellcat: yop
[03:46:39] Mathieulh: yah it'd help
[03:46:43] PsHellcat: cewl
[03:46:46] Mathieulh: get me his token seed xD
[03:47:02] PsHellcat: 'cause he'd be glad to help out if it turned out it's QA'ed
[03:47:33] Mathieulh: the main problem with QA right now is that we dunno what value to set to the token seed
[03:47:59] Mathieulh: we have the keys and most of the algo
[03:48:19] PsHellcat: that sounds nice already
[03:48:27] Mathieulh: yah
[03:54:37] rms: god, this hexdump is huge
[04:43:25] Mathieulh: sorry for the highlight npt xD
[04:43:42] rms: im sure he doesnt mind
[04:44:02] rms: oh, Mathieulh
[04:44:03] rms: did those elfs work for you?
[04:44:37] Mathieulh: didn't try them yet
[04:44:43] rms: ok
[04:44:45] Mathieulh: but they have no reason to fail afaik
[04:45:00] Mathieulh: should be all set to dump metldr (again) Xd
[04:45:06] Mathieulh: xD *
[04:45:13] rms: unless they infinite loop by mistake
[04:45:14] rms: >_<
[04:45:14] rms: then again, it was [Register or Login to view links]
[04:45:31] Mathieulh: well, they work in anergistic
[04:45:38] rms: P
[04:45:38] rms: :P
[04:45:56] rms: how do you lead something into the anergistic spuls is my question
[04:46:01] Mathieulh: now we just have to load them and fetch the data from the shared LS or the mailbox
[04:46:05] rms: or how do you put things in memory
[04:46:06] Mathieulh: depending on the self we use
[04:46:06] rms: yeah
[04:46:21] Mathieulh: you mean how to dma ?
[04:46:24] rms: yeah
[04:46:31] rms: how do i put data initially into the spe
[04:46:31] Mathieulh: not sure anergistic emulates that
[04:46:36] Mathieulh: though I think it does
[04:46:46] rms: like
[04:46:52] Mathieulh: well data is sent to the mailbox or shared LS
[04:47:03] Mathieulh: it's the loader that asks the mmu to open the dma channel
[04:47:06] rms: data already in the isolated LS
[04:47:13] Mathieulh: yeah
[04:47:23] Mathieulh: well there is also the protocol to take into account
[04:47:42] Mathieulh: openning a dma channel requires more than a few instructions afaik
[04:47:43] rms: like, say i want to push over a decrypted elf in ls, it lies in isolated ls
[04:47:43] rms: how do i emulate that in anergistic
[04:47:54] rms: it's like 25
[04:48:13] rms: those elfs just have about 10 instructions
[04:48:27] Mathieulh: well, afaik you just run that elf in anergistic
[04:48:42] Mathieulh: it doesn't matter for the spu process wether the LS is isolated or not
[04:48:51] Mathieulh: the spu process is gonna access the LS as a whole
[04:48:54] rms: ok
[04:49:02] Mathieulh: just by supplying the proper address
[04:49:09] Mathieulh: it is the outside that cannot reach the isolated area
[04:49:10] rms: go tell me when you get those decrypted elfs
[04:49:15] rms: i'd love to take a look at them
[04:49:16] Mathieulh: by outside I mean anything not running on the spu
[04:49:37] Mathieulh: which ones?
[04:50:11] rms: whatever you can get into the isolated SPU
[04:50:22] npt: Mathieulh, no worry about the highlight
[04:50:27] Mathieulh: well, you just have to sign a loader, it'll run isolated
[04:50:31] Mathieulh: I mean on real hardware
[04:50:38] Mathieulh: ok npt
[04:50:49] Mathieulh: on anergistic the loader has to be in elf format
[04:51:01] Mathieulh: cause I doubt anergistic likes encrypted selfs xD
[04:51:15] Mathieulh: although you can run metldr in anergistic
[04:51:25] Mathieulh: and use its protocol to decrypt and load your loaders
[04:51:28] Mathieulh: just as it's done on ps3
[04:52:23] Mathieulh: rms ah! you mean using that bug we found ? (about the elfs)
[04:52:49] rms: yeah
[04:52:58] Mathieulh: yeah, certainly
[04:53:25] Mathieulh: we just grab metldr first though, just for the sake of it

Video: PS3 QA Flag Demo, Enables Hidden Firmware Options

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