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Sony Takes Legal Action Against Infamous PS3 Hacker GeoHot


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189w ago - Update #5: According to [Register or Login to view links] via [Register or Login to view links], GeoHot and Sony now share same charge as a result of a PS3 OtherOS class-action lawsuit.

To quote: "One of Sony's defenses is rather interesting, as the company claims that it had no way of knowing gamers who bought the hardware would want to use these functions for the life of the system, and the multiple warranties and Terms of Service all said that Sony had the right to remove functions from the hardware."

Update #4: The latest documents reveal Judge Susan Illston has denied Sony's request for expedited discovery, essentially meaning Sony can't send out the subpoenas to other PS3 hackers mentioned previously, however, [Register or Login to view links] reports Sony is now preparing to inspect GeoHot's hard drive.

Update #3: [Register or Login to view links] has now updated his site with the following, to quote: "As of 2:00 PM EST, 1/14/2011, I am not subject to any TROs" followed by legal documents citing a request for dismissal by lawyers representing George Hotz and concluded with more legal documents now granting Sony the TRO although according to [Register or Login to view links] GeoHot laywers are now filing a motion to dismiss the TRO.

So, although there is still a court case to go through essentially what this means is US District Judge Susan Illston [Register or Login to view links] the temporary restraining order telling Sony to prove their case first, leaving the burden of proof upon them while Sony documents now allege George Hotz has a PSN account.

Update #2: Some videos of GeoHot on G4's Attack of the Show which aired at 7PM EST tonight are now available below, with his motion for temporary restraining order rescheduled for Friday, January 14, 2011 at 9:00 am.

Update: While [Register or Login to view links] now classifies the legal action as a restraining order as GeoHot hires a lawyer from Ettorney Law who previously won big cases against the RIAA and MPAA, Research Professor of Computer Science David S. Touretzky at Carnegie Mellon University has now [Register or Login to view links] the GeoHot file archive calling the bluff of Sony's legal team.

It appears infamous PS3 hacker GeoHot aka George Hotz is now in hot water himself along with 27C3 lecturers and fail0verflow members Marcan aka Hector Martin and sven aka Sven Peter and 100 John Does, as posted on IRC and his site Sony Computer Entertainment has now filed suit against him.

Charges include:

•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2)(C) - Confidential Information On Computer
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(4) - Intent To Defraud And Obtain Value
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(5)(A) - Knowing Transmission of Code
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(5)(B) and (C) - Intentional and Reckless Damage And Loss
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(6)(A) - Trafficking in Password
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(7)(B) - Intent to Extort

To quote from his site: "As of 1/11/2011 7:20 PM EST, I have been served with papers, see below...

[Register or Login to view links]
[Register or Login to view links]
[Register or Login to view links]

old front page, with relevant info removed, is [Register or Login to view links]

contact me geohot ... gmail

any legal fund donation things you see are 100% fake as of now, don't get scammed"

Sony claims to have sent GeoHot a $1 donation for his PS3 hacking work, and from the legal docs, to quote: "Upon information and belief, Defendant George Hotz is bound by the Playstation Network Terms of Service and User Agreement (the PSN User Agreement), 14 of which states in relevant part that both parties submit to personal jurisdiction in California and further agree that any 23 dispute arising from or relating to this Agreement shall be brought in a court within San Mateo County, California.

The FAIL0VERFLOW Defendants intentionally circumvented SCEA's TPMs, accessed the PS3 System and trafficked in Circumvention Devices and SCEA's proprietary information, with full knowledge that their unlawful conduct would irreparably harm SCEA.

Indeed, five days prior to appearing at the Chaos Conference, Bushing echoed a [Register or Login to view links] comment anticipating this irreparable harm: Last chance to sell any Sony stock you may have.

By distributing the Circumvention Devices discussed herein, Hotz has caused irreparable injury and damage to SCEA. Russell Decl. at 9-10. Recognizing the harmful impact of his unlawful conduct on SCEA and attempting to leverage his circumvention activities, Hotz addressed SCEA when he posted the Metldr Keys. Bricker Decl. at 22, Exh. U.

In an attempt to obtain employment, he wrote: "if you want your next console to be secure, get in touch with me." Id.

Furthermore, in a January 6, 2011 interview with the BBC, Hotz acknowledged that his conduct will catalyze the piracy of video games: "I hate that it enables piracy." Id. at 27, Exh. Z.

Despite feigning disturbance resulting from the proliferation of piracy, Hotz then went on to release 3.55 Firmware JailBreak and the Signing Tool - both components of Circumvention Devices that are designed to facilitate videogame piracy.

Finally, SCEA will likely prevail on its claim under 1030(a)(7)(B), which prohibits intent to extort from any person any money or other thing of value by threatening to obtain information from a protected computer without authorization or in excess of authorization or to impair the confidentiality of information obtained from a protected computer without authorization or by exceeding authorized access. Hotz violated this provision when, in the same post in which the published SCEA's Keys, he attempted to obtain from SCEA thing of value in the form of employment: if you want your next console to be secure, get in touch with me."

[Register or Login to view links] has also posted some additional court documents and the following, to quote: "My Wikileaks Fax machine just finished dumping the finished E-filings for today by Sony, with the official Court Stamp and Signings, and included now is what SCEA wants to claim in damages and their reasons, and dates of when the info was released by Team Fail0verflow and Geohot and various other info like sharing of work via twitter, posting youtube videos, etc."

From [Register or Login to view links]: "Ah, so Sony decided to sue everyone under US law. Guess I won't be visiting the US in a while..."

From [Register or Login to view links]: "Looks like Sony decided to ignore the facts and sue us all for it. See http://geohot.com/."

GeoHot on IRC: (IPs/other users/etc removed)

geohot: [Register or Login to view links]
geohot: they expect me to be in SF tomorrow at 9am :/
geohot: they also say i am taking donations, which i am not
geohot: and that i have a twitter, which i do not
geohot: moving to spain :P
geohot: old index page and jailbreak.zip has been restored to geohot.com
geohot: i assure you i am takely this matter very seriously
geohot: after reading the documents and consulting with my legal team, i have decided to repost the information and jailbreak
geohot: the tro is proposed, not signed
geohot: if the court signs off on the tro, i will comply with the courts decision
geohot: whats ironic is the program to get the metldr key was run under otheros
geohot: 100% legally
geohot: on 3.15
geohot: nothing was circumvented









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Comments 262 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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oldschool400's Avatar
#232 - oldschool400 - 182w ago
I have a feeling that a LOT of peoples psn accounts are now on the vege of being banned. Realized this last night, but if someone looked at geohot's blog, and then played online, and once sony gets the information out of google, they are going to start banning people.
all they are going to do is cross-reference the IP addy's in their psn records with the ones from the blog. Any matches and guarantee, those people will be banned.

TheDevil's Avatar
#231 - TheDevil - 182w ago
Maybe people are just getting paranoid, maybe not. Some people don't mind the big corporations knowing what they do online. It's a basic civil liberty. Would you want the government to put a tap on your phone, because you could be a terrorist?

Indeed. Privacy is a right in most contries .. but apparently not in US. This whole thing is a complete travesty and clearly shows that justice in the US belongs (no offence) to the ones with enough money. This would never had happened in Europe. Its all about priority tho.

In most european contries you are allowed to play 1 or more backups of games/movies/music you own (so you can easy play a backup in your car/other house). Priority is obviously quite low .. because who really get hurt?

But in european contries if you even accidentally sneeze the word "terrorist" .. you will find yourself in jail for upto 48 hours without ANY proof whatsoever (while they raid your home for possible proof). Priority is obviously quite high .. because people do actually get hurt if it isnt done.

Merlena's Avatar
#230 - Merlena - 182w ago
Hey Sony, guess what. I'm renting gamez to your console, not buying them!

Not gonna buy crap of this company whatever anymore, if my money goes anywhere then greedy Microsoft can have them.

Thanks for buying out the HDDVD market, thanks for everything Sony, messing up the industry. Oh hey, you introduce 3D, that's great does that mean I can just connect my nVidia Sterioscopic 3D kit and enjoy? NO! I have to buy your TVs, which has always been crap. Stop making TVs! Then I need your fancy glasses of paper.

Sony this is going outta hand, and if.. I mean, slow down.. something is gonna hit you in the face pretty soon.

Back to computer gaming people, at least we can do whatever we want, buy and configure whatever powerful hardware we want. Don't buy a damn PS3; means their third year on minus in revenue.

I mean, before I was like supporting you guys, making all these titles; as all the "Sony" logoed games was like "Wooow" (Heavy Rain, Uncharted series, GT series, Ratchet & Clank, Metal Gear Solid...)

What I'm trying to tell is: Don't give money to maniacs. I'm refreshing and downloading the jailbreak, come and get me!

nafeasonto's Avatar
#229 - nafeasonto - 182w ago
Will Sony want the IPs, and people Home Address's of all the people who watched the "The Alyona Show" clip too?

oldschool400's Avatar
#228 - oldschool400 - 182w ago
That's what I stated in my last post. That's all this is about. People are getting paranoid for nothing. Sony is just trying to help their case and nothing more with this particular situation.
Maybe people are just getting paranoid, maybe not. Some people don't mind the big corporations knowing what they do online. It's a basic civil liberty. Would you want the government to put a tap on your phone, because you could be a terrorist?

I know thats a little extreme, but it's not THAT far from what we're dealing with. What we have is a corporation that will do absolutely anything to win. Guess what Sony. Your messing with the wrong bull. Robin Williams said it best; "It's not big brother you have to worry about anymore, it's little snitch.'

Well guess what Sony, the internet is full of 'little snitches', and especially with the LG claim that you doing exactly the same frigging thing your accusing all of us of doing when we run homebrew. All those snitches (especially this one) will be watching your EVERY move VERY closely.

'Those who live in glass houses, probably shouldn't throw stones.'

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