Reports: PS3 hackers banned from PSN after Sony warning

Wednesday, 16 February 2011 17:11 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Following a Sony statement confirming it will issue irreversible PSN bans to those caught running pirated PS3 software, several reports are claiming the process has already begun.

The following email is now apparently being sent to hack-happy users as a warning to remove “all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from your PlayStation 3 system”:

Important: Access to the PlayStation(R)Network and Access to Qriocity(TM) Services Notice

Unauthorized circumvention devices for PlayStation(R)3 system have been recently released by hackers for the PlayStation(R)3 system. These devices permit the use of unauthorized or pirated software.

Use of such devices or software violates the terms of your “System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation(R)3 System” and the “Terms of Services and User Agreement” for the PlayStation(R)Network/Qriocity(TM) and its Community Code of Conduct provisions. In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of International Copyright Laws.

A circumvention device and/or unauthorized or pirated software currently resides on your PlayStation(R)3 system.

Immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from your PlayStation(R)3 system. Failure to do so will result in termination of your access to PlayStation(R) Network and access to Qriocity(TM) services through your PlayStation(R)3 system.

Don’t do it, kids. This is what happens.

The following official statement was released by Sony on the matter yesterday:

Unauthorized circumvention devices for the PlayStation 3 system have been recently released by hackers. These devices permit the use of unauthorized or pirated software. Use of such devices or software violates the terms of the “System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System” and the “Terms of Services and User Agreement” for the PlayStation Network/Qriocity and its Community Code of Conduct provisions. Violation of the System Software Licence Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system. In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of International Copyright Laws. Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 system terminated permanently.

To avoid this, consumers must immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from their PlayStation 3 systems.

According to Sony, hacks and cheats not only “damage our industry,” but can “potentially injure the online experience,” for PSN users.

“By identifying PlayStation 3 systems that breach our guidelines and terminating their ability to connect to PlayStation Network, we are protecting our business and preserving the honest gameplay experiences that you expect and deserve,” reads the statement.

“Rest assured, this message does not apply to the overwhelming majority of our users who enjoy the world of entertainment PlayStation 3 has to offer without breaching the guidelines detailed above, and we urge you to continue doing so without fear.”

Geohot, hot, hot

Back in January, iPhone hacker Geohot published PS3′s root key, while hacker group fail0verflow reverse engineered the system and publicized the feat.

Geohot takin’ on the Sony, yo.

After the information was released online, Sony said it was looking into the claims, and apparently found sufficient evidence to pursue legal action.

While going though the California courts to get a restraining order and the right to confiscate GeoHot’s PC, rumors started swirling the net regarding different ways Sony planned to close the back door on its system.

Once Sony was granted permission to seize all of GeoHot’s hardware used to crack the console, it quickly asked the courts to subpoena YouTube, Twitter, PayPal, Slashdot and various other sites in order to track down several hackers publishing the crack.

Each site, once allowed by the courts, would be forced to provide contact details and personal information on all listed in the court documents.


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  1. pukem0n

    are they saying you should remove pirated software immediately?

    so in other words, they have no way of detecting it yet or what? ^^

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Suikoden Fan

    i wonder if sony will go after foreign acc holdeers?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Detale

    Or maybe they’ve got a way of detecting it, and are giving you the chance to remove it before they boot you off PSN?

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Kaufer

    It probably means they’ll start banning the console itself from PSN rather than per game basis as it was with COD.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. TheWulf

    Did… did Stephany catch the intellectual dishonesty in their statement? I’m impressed, Steph. Good on ya. Really.

    The thing is is that it’s not a ‘device’, it’s a piece of software, they’re trying to put this in the same camp as a modchip, which is (once again) a physical modification. The thing is is that they have no idea how to deal with this because nothing involved in the changes is physical at all, it all happens on the software level, and apparently this is proving very confusing to Sony and their lawyers.

    It’s proving so confusing that the poor sods have had no recourse than to compare a software application with a mod chip, which potentially requires wires, soldering, and physically opening the PlayStation 3 (which would invalidate the warranty). Of course, eggheads and boffins alike are going to be amused by this correlation.

    It’s kind of like saying that you need a Piracy Card to install Linux on a PC. :P We might get to the point where DRM is that insane, but that isn’t the case right now, thankfully. Nor is it the case that the PS3 requires any tinkering with the physical side of things in order to actually bust it wide open.

    This is the problem with the other side of this argument (including Sony), that they have so little understanding of software (as a business entity) that they have to correlate it to physical objects like the dunces they are. This is much like Crysis’ comparison of encryption keys to house keys. Statements like that have me facepalm so violently that I worry I’ll end up with more brain damage.

    Sony should get their geeks to explain it instead of their lawyers, but the problem is is that their geeks likely wouldn’t have a problem with what GeoHot did. It’s very unlikely for a person to be a geek and actually see an issue with what GeoHot did, what fail0verflow did, and especially how they went about it.


    They’ve already revealed all their cards in that regard and it’s been dealt with. Sony were very stupid to pull the ace from their sleeve so quickly, but what can you do? I suppose they figured that they could keep switching things around like Microsoft in order to keep banning people, but due to the root key being exposed, they can’t do that.

    To think, if they’d left in Other OS then none of this would have happened. Silly Sony, this is what happens if you step on someone’s rights, they don’t like it. Of course they don’t like it.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. SpartanNuke

    makes me so happy :) good job, Sony.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. SpartanNuke

    uh oh. i cannot edit my comment.. :/ damn.
    I meant, yay go Sony…

    #7 4 years ago
  8. ManuOtaku

    @5 Very spot on comment, nice read 8D

    #8 4 years ago
  9. dandan123

    does this mean movies which we have downloaded from the internet?

    #9 4 years ago
  10. psybass

    ohhhh so, Sony asking like a cute babies do not install the hacking device? what a losers. if the pirates like the device they definitely won’t delete it, and the piracy will grow on ps3 just like pc and xbox

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Kerplunk

    #5 If things get classified as software then the consumer has far fewer right to jump around saying “I own it, I can do what I like with it” as, with software, the consumer never buys the software itself just a licence to use the software under terms outlined by the actual owners of the software itself. Unauthorised modification of the software? That’d be a no-no.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Nozz

    Sony’s ninjas are in full effect!

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Sorvin

    Poor Back_up…. I guess by next week he’ll switch side and call all PS3 owners for hackers and proclaim Xbox as the “bestess console”

    #13 4 years ago
  14. ManuOtaku

    @11, well thats exactly what activision, THQ, EA are saying and trying to implement with the pre-owned war agaisnt the consumers

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Erthazus

    @13, nope, when you say something about: PS3 is piracy

    he will say that PC hackers did this and some other crap :D

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Mike

    “To avoid this, consumers must immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from their PlayStation 3 systems.”

    As far as I’m aware, Sony doesn’t have the authority to demand this.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Nozz

    @16 Hey by all means challenge their authority, post your results!

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Aimless

    @16 Why not? You aren’t entitled to use their online services and that is all they are talking about revoking.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Cygnar


    Lawyers in the entertainment industry, and especially in copyright law, are not stupid. The “device” language almost certainly refers to USB keys used to circumvent security measures before the release of the encryption key. Regardless of whether Sony thinks it can detect software-only circumvention in addition to hardware circumvention, and notwithstanding its choice of words in its public statements, it’s obvious that “device” refers to devices.

    It is wonderful that you do not think anything should be wrong with circumvention of security measures. However, our opinions do not determine what the law says, or what our contracts require of us. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it illegal under U.S. federal law to circumvent software protection that effectively controls access to copyrighted works, and makes it illegal to distribute tools or information that enable others to do the same. The act of circumvention itself is illegal under §1201; the law does not care whether or not users have good intentions when they do so. Please refer to the statutory language below, and read it before making a decision about what you think the law says.—-000-.html

    There are exceptions carved out to §1201, outlined by the U.S. Copyright office. Please find these linked below. The “iPhone” exceptions for “homebrew” software apply only to telephones, not to home computers and gaming consoles.

    I am sure that there are many “geeks” who have no problem with Mr. Hotz or the “fail0verflow” group, but no one has to convince “geeks” of anything–the bounds of the law are determined by judges, legislators, administrative agencies, and skilled lawyers. These are the authorities to which we must appeal to determine what is legal, not our intuitions and gut reactions of fairness.

    As for Sony’s alleged trampling on the rights of its users, please refer to the Playstation EULA, linked below.

    Sony does not give its users any more rights in its software than Metallica gives its fans ownership rights in its lyrics. The terms of the contract are unequivocal: users agree through their very use of the software that they “do not have any ownership rights or interests in the System Software.” The software on a user’s Playstation is not hers to circumvent, sell, decompile, reverse-engineer, or modify. This is a standard practice in software EULAs. If you do not like these contracts, do not accept them.

    In short, Sony has legal protections from any circumvention of its copyright protection under U.S. federal law, it has done nothing illegal in its contract drafting, and it has not breached its contracts with its users. You may not feel that any of this is fair. But your feelings do not determine what the law is, says, means, or requires. If you are a U.S. citizen, I recommend that you write your representatives about your feelings; if you are not, I would like to ask you to stop complaining about law that doesn’t apply to you–this is a U.S. case determined by U.S. law, not by the feelings of video game blog users.


    #19 4 years ago
  20. Mike

    Seems to me they’re asking people to remove any and all unauthorised software from the machine. Whether it be a ripped game or XMBC. They can’t, however, do a thing about it and have no right (again, as far as I know) to stop me or you DL’ing something onto a USB and playing it/using it on the machine.

    Nothing they can do about it. At all. And they have no right to demand it.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Gekidami

    Why not? What do you think Microsoft does if they detect a system has a flashed drive? Exactly the same thing; They block the system from using their online features.
    Sonys saying ‘remove that stuff or lose the abilty to conect to OUR online systems, that you, the customers have no ownership of’.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. psybass

    TheWulf and Cygnar seriously you need to be a book writers. ><

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Michael O’Connor

    @20 You’re write. They can’t legally stop you from downloading the stuff and using it.

    They can, however, stop you for using their online services entirely at their own discretion.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Michael O’Connor



    #24 4 years ago
  25. raganwind

    Sony can scan your PS3 for data on your hard drive, as long as you are connected to PSN.#19 is right, but his last statement isn’t. This is for US and EU branches of Playstation, not just US. Depending on your country, you must obey that country’s laws. Neither country allows you to circumvent security measures. Also, as far as I know, the PS3 Jailbreak is a USB flash drive, rather than a program.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. ManuOtaku

    @19, ok so according for what i read this do also apply when sony took away the O.S capability, of my ps3, because if i didnt want to loose this application, that did came with the product in the first place, when i paid it,i cannot play any new games because it did ask me for an updated.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. chipvideo

    @25 You wrote “Sony can scan your PS3 for data on your hard drive, as long as you are connected to PSN”

    That seems kind of illegal to me. Sniffing your HDD for data. Much different than what msft does. They sniff the physical MOD, not your HDD software.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Gekidami

    ^ They dont scan your HDD, but they can see what programs are being ran on your system.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. chipvideo

    So they are scanning your memory then?

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Gekidami

    The system sends a log of applications you’re ran. They arent “scanning” anything.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Do they know if I’m surfing for porn…?

    #31 4 years ago
  32. chipvideo

    Is that legal? How should they demand to KNOW what I have been using on a system I bought. I wonder how this would go over with the Consumer Privacy Act.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. chipvideo

    To be clear I am in favor of them banning consoles from the service. Its how they go about it is what I am concerned for. Alot of this has to do with consumer rights. Major implications down the road. Seems as though as time goes on we get less and less rights. Looks like America is heading backwards in the Land of the Free.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Gekidami

    Yep, a live feed of your porn is sent straight into Kaz Hirai’s office.

    No but seriously, they can see the browser app was activated but not what it was used for.

    Seeing as both Sony & Microsoft do it i guess it is. Consoles arent PC’s, everything you run on one is meant to be officially lienced.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. chipvideo

    Problem is msft is showing a physical mod while the sony solution is showing a software mod. I think Sony will have a hard time in court over this.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. MushroomStamp

    Not a huge loss. In my 4 years having a PS3, the only thing I needed online for was updates. Which don’t mean a lot really. Don’t like the online community for the PS3… well, what they call a community anyway. It doesn’t foster communication… the multi-player games, meh, never enjoyed any multi-player on the PS3, primarily because of lack of voice support. yes it has voice, but 80% of players don’t use it because they dont’ have a mic.

    *sigh* I regress, the point being while I do NOT have a modded PS3, it wouldn’t bother me in the least to lose online so I’m sure the ones that Mod dont’ really care either.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. Cort

    Sorry Mike, but Sony has every right to demand PS3 users remove the offending material from their hard drive. And PS3 users have every right to completely ignore the demand and carry on using it. But if they do, Sony will ban them from using their online services. So, you see, Sony can do plenty about it.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Hunam

    Punishment for not buying games is met with losing the ability to buy games?

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Gekidami

    ^ How does not being able to connect to PSN stop you from buying games?

    #39 4 years ago
  40. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    I would like to hear Cygnar’s response to #32 and #33. Just because I have come to value his/her’s seemingly knowledgeable legal input.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. GwynbleiddiuM

    Well, I’m worried about “Back_up”, it’s a shock too see he made no comments on this matter. Guys, we broke him bad he might have committed suicide! We are evil as he would say…

    #41 4 years ago
  42. spiderLAW

    You are so lame.
    “It doesn’t foster communication” – Where the hell do you get that bullshit from? My friends list is twice the size of my Xbox’s list and i would say with much more mature people as well. I can video chat, text chat, message, join them in Playstation Home, play games with the, play games in PS Home with them. Of course the list of friends depends on the user of the system as i am not saying the same amount of friends is not capable with the xbox, just that your statement stinks with bull shit.

    “never enjoyed any multi-player on the PS3, primarily because of lack of voice support. yes it has voice, but 80% of players don’t use it because they dont’ have a mic.” – says who?
    I have 3 mics (1 bluetooth and 2 usb) that work great but i hardly use them for online play on PS3 (and I have 2 for xbox that I hardly use for the same following reasons ) because 1) i dont want to chat with 12yr boys that just yell nigga nigga nigga dick *ss**le, f*** the whole damn time for no other reason than just to hear their own voice. 2)Because sometimes playing a game means getting away from all the crap you hear from everyone all day. Relaxing time for us in the work force 3) do you really need a mic to coordinate? I dont think so. smart enough players do fine without one. Suer it helps, but it isn’t necessary.
    4) you contradict yourself in your statement. Its lacks voice support but it does support voice??? You read your shit once over?

    Lets make this clear again. The only thing that xbox live supports that PSN doesn’t is cross game chat. Don’t say “well party chat too” cuz for fucks sake, you can party chat on PS3 too, just not while playing separate games.

    I swear, you fan boys love to twist the truth in your favor all the time.

    If you have both consoles, enjoy them. If you don’t like one of the consoles, don’t buy it. If you are going to lie about it, keep your mouth shut or your fingers away from the keyboard.

    Both consoles have great online support. Asshat.

    #42 4 years ago
  43. XxT_I_K_IxX_PR

    People just read the official agreement and done… lol who reads that?

    #43 4 years ago
  44. XxT_I_K_IxX_PR

    But yeah, ban them =P

    #44 4 years ago
  45. MushroomStamp

    @SpiderLaw, fuck off, it’s my opinion get off your system loving pedestal because I didn’t even mention any other console. I see voice communication as imperative to online multi-player. I find in the online multiplayer games I played the VAST majority of people did NOT have voice. I prefer when someone can say “look to your left”, or even communicate a strategy on how to attack. You have your OPINION, I have mine. Name calling is unnecessary and unwarranted when all someone does is express opinnion. I purposely didn’t even mention another console becasue I knew some PS3 lover would need a new tampon, I guess that was you. Pardon me for having an opinion. The simple fact that EVERY SINGLE 360 is sold with a mic means just about everyone has one… which is the total opposite of the PS3. I never stated anythign about capabilities, just about what every person can observe for themselves. The majority of people do not purchase a Mic seperately, thus making a community with communication non existant on the PS3.

    My opinion is based solely on fact and observation. You just want to paint a terd a pretty color.

    #45 4 years ago
  46. spiderLAW

    you are a moron if you think that all you stated was opinion.
    Heres how it works so that its easier for u to understand.

    Your Opinion: “I don’t enjoy online gaming on PS3.” Great, that is indeed an opinion and it’s cool.

    Not an opinion, just a mislead observation thus misleading others when making the statement: “It doesn’t foster communication” “lack of voice support. yes it has voice, but 80% of players don’t use it because they don’t’ have a mic.”

    I didn’t attack your opinion. I simply observed and pointed out that observation, that you falsify information to justify your beliefs.

    “System loving pedestal”? I own both, play both (you are on my fucking friends list on xbox), and i also had a wii that I played 60+ games on it before selling it and if anything, I’m a PC gamer and always will be.

    “Every single xbox360 is sold with a mic”? Are you serious? The new Slim 4gb does not come with a mic and either did the arcade (arcade at first. Not sure about later Skus).

    “The majority of people do not purchase a Mic separately, thus making a community with communication non existent on the PS3.”? So messaging, texting, etc. is not a form of communication…. where the hell did you go to school? Besides those obviously being a form of communication, Bluetooth is a common device everywhere and PS3 uses any Bluetooth headset. People have the mikes, they just choose not to hear people like you yammering, “look over there! He’s gonna get you” in their ear. Lets not forget also that you can video chat on PS3 with the PSeye without the need for a headset and that costs a little $30 or comes bundled with Move.

    You know, I wouldn’t even bother arguing with you ever but you have become the new xbox loving fanboy moron around here. Jumping in on threads to say “O the online on PS3 sucks”, “Xbox live is perfect”, “this game looks better on Xbox360 (judging b the demo)”, etc etc etc.
    Go ahead and glorify your xbox, but don’t trash other systems to glorify your preference.

    #46 4 years ago
  47. spiderLAW

    @MushroomsStamp (= M.S. initials M.S. also meaning Microsoft and Microsoft being the manufacturer of Xbox…am i reading to deep into it? lol)
    You are right about the name calling though. That was very immature of me and I apologize for that. I am sorry.

    #47 4 years ago
  48. MushroomStamp

    @SpiderLaw Yes, too deep.. a MushroomStamp is the mark left behind after you pull the c*ck out of someones mouth and smack it on their forehead.

    Apology accepted.. and I apologize for using an antagonizing comment “what they call a community anyway”.

    I think we are just both passionate gamers and sometimes consideration of others slips.

    #48 4 years ago
  49. MushroomStamp

    Ps. “fanboy loving moron”.. umm no, but thanks for the name calling again.. like you I have all systems. I never have been or will be a loyalist. To buy something just because of a name brand is retarded. I evaluate all purchases equally. I have never said the PS3 sucks no that Xbox live is perfect… In fact I never made those comments you tried feed into my mouth. I prefer the 360 on 2 major points, I find the community better and #1 is the controller. I despise the PS controller as the worst controller I have ever used. Other than that I could care less about exclusives. If a game is multiplatform I will go with the one that has the best graphics (for example, I bought FF13 on PS3 and RDR on the 360). just like to reiterate, I am a gamer, not a consoler… the only “system” i really bash is the Wii because well… there isn’t enough space to cover that topic.

    #49 4 years ago
  50. tmac2011

    you might own the system but you don’t own the rights to the software even if you buy the game, you dont own the programming and the data and w/e else. ruining games like call of duty 4 and people having to cheat at modern warfare 2, why dont they try to just get better at a game and stop hacking it upo for other great players….

    #50 4 years ago
  51. Kaufer

    Im reading the related forums and people are getting banned as of a few hours ago. There are already some in the comments that are updating to official firmware. So i guess sony’s plan works.

    #51 4 years ago
  52. MegaGeek1

    Oh shucks, looks like a small percentage of “gamers” are going to be forced into BUYING games like the rest of us normal human beings.

    #52 4 years ago
  53. back_up

    they should be put in jail

    #53 4 years ago
  54. xino

    well doesn’t really do much, because you can simply create another PSN account.

    Sony needs to ban the console, though they can’t do it unlike Xbox 360, because Xbox Live is fully integrated with the Xbox 360+dashboard.

    it would only effect you if you use it on an account with lots of trophies

    #54 4 years ago
  55. Kerplunk

    @54 Of course you can block the console. Take a combination of known IP address and the MAC address of the machine and that’s it.

    #55 4 years ago
  56. Patrick Garratt

    @51 – Do you have any links to forum posts saying people have already been banned?

    #56 4 years ago
  57. mojo


    #57 4 years ago
  58. Patrick Garratt


    #58 4 years ago
  59. Kaufer


    I tried posting the link before but i guess it got filtered?

    #59 4 years ago
  60. Kaufer


    I tried posting the link before but i guess it got filtered? My post wont show.

    #60 4 years ago
  61. Kaufer

    I tried posting the link but none of my post are showing.

    #61 4 years ago
  62. mojo


    link to hackerforum and cfw stuff. remove if needed.

    #62 4 years ago
  63. Kaufer

    Ill try it again. ps3news(dot)com/PS3-Online/sony-addresses-ps3-circumvention-devices-piracy-and-psn-bans

    #63 4 years ago
  64. mojo

    whats so difficult in pasting a url? :)

    #64 4 years ago
  65. mojo

    nice selfown!

    #65 4 years ago
  66. mojo

    ups, nice selfown.

    indeed its not possible to post a “ps3news(dot)com” url..

    #66 4 years ago
  67. Blerk

    Really? Let’s try:

    #67 4 years ago
  68. Kaufer leads to a different site. If post nothing happends.

    #68 4 years ago
  69. Kaufer leads to a different site. If i post “ps3news(dot)com” the proper way, it wont get posted.

    #69 4 years ago
  70. mojo

    yeah i got that.
    hence my comment #63

    #70 4 years ago
  71. Patrick Garratt

    No idea why the URL-pasting thing’s weird. Thanks for you help with that, chaps.

    #71 4 years ago
  72. xino

    @55 they can’t ban console if it’s not connected online

    #72 4 years ago
  73. TheWulf

    Meh. Everyone with any sense already knew about Sony’s shenanigans and have prevention measures in place to prevent the console from connecting at boot time.

    Though I can’t understand what this actually does? I mean, consider… this is just Sony saying that if you’ve installed Other OS and you’re a completely legitimate customer who wants to spend their money on the PSN, then too bad, Sony doesn’t want your money.

    Doesn’t that encourage piracy?

    I… don’t even know what to make of that. Is Sony stupid, is that their problem? Sometimes there are just no words, and only an aghast look of disgust and horror will do.

    Yes! Let’s encourage piracy! That will stop the pirates!!


    #73 4 years ago
  74. Michael O’Connor


    #74 4 years ago
  75. raganwind

    #74: It would actually discourage pirates if they required entering serial numbers to play games and it was restricted to one serial number per game with no transference like with windows. People have used that to steal another person’s license for Windows before.

    #75 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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