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Sony Takes Legal Action Against Infamous PS3 Hacker GeoHot

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220w ago - Update #5: According to ArsTechnica via Groklaw, 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, Wired reports Sony is now preparing to inspect GeoHot's hard drive.

Update #3: GeoHot 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 Arstechnica.com 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 denied 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 Engadget 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 mirrored 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...

Motion For TRO
Proposed Order

old front page, with relevant info removed, is here

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 fellow hacker 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."

PSX-Scene 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 Marcan42: "Ah, so Sony decided to sue everyone under US law. Guess I won't be visiting the US in a while..."

From fail0verflow: "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: http://geohot.com/
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

Sony Takes Legal Action Against Infamous PS3 Hacker GeoHot

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Comments 262

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#212 - shummyr - 212w ago
shummyr's Avatar
All the stuff that sony has been pulling lately is getting out of hand, scaring people, hunting people down and what not...

#211 - xUb3rn00dlEx - 212w ago
xUb3rn00dlEx's Avatar
Hahaha... I think it's about time we started organizing our own campaign to retaliate against SONY and they're BS. Their employment of scare tactics is cowardly at best, but effective (in America atleast) as every little kid will crap their pants with this info.

We need to come together and organize our thoughts into fighting back, either with scare tactics, boycotts, protests, or even further. Hell, why don't we set a date, gather up masses, and have a SONY store sit in?

#210 - lenuke - 212w ago
lenuke's Avatar
Sony's next step: Shut down the Internet.

#209 - matt101 - 212w ago
matt101's Avatar
just use internet cafe's... to download/upload files... so i think i'll nip down cafe tomorrow and post failoverflows tools and everything else. everywhere and screw you sony!

#208 - scrapdoggzilla - 212w ago
scrapdoggzilla's Avatar
come at me bro!!

#207 - acelove - 212w ago
acelove's Avatar
Hahaha very funny indeed.. They can have my location by all means, not like they can do anything anyway.

$ony doesn't scare me in the slightest and I hope it doesn't put anyone off from JB'ing/Hacking

#206 - Mbb - 212w ago
Mbb's Avatar
LOL come to my house sony..

#205 - Deeluxe - 212w ago
Deeluxe's Avatar
They are free to come in Bulgaria... lol police here doesn't even know what ps3 is haha..

#204 - jedi4000 - 212w ago
jedi4000's Avatar
I think it's beyond a joke, end of the day piracy has been out since god was a lad.. and it will never stop no matter how much money they try and put into it to stop it... it will stay alive regardless. I don't know why sony have spat there dummy out so much , coz they knew maybe one day the ps3 would of got hacked in the end no matter what they said about security.

Theres no other company thats moaned like sony have. They didnt moan like this when the ps1 got first chipped back in 1996 infact it made the sale of the ps1 even more...

#203 - shorty021606 - 212w ago
shorty021606's Avatar
Ok. I am normally only a reader as I learn more from reading than writing to much. But I will correct all of the above statements here.

First: The information on the YOUTUBE video of geohot is only after he was forced to make it private by order of the TRO from the court. So only if you access to it since then.

Second: The information being asked for from his website owners ISP logs for viewing and downloading the geohot.zip file does not mean they are coming after you.

Last: In regards to all information being asked for!! There is no personal information about any specific person or person's being asked for! They are only requesting information that says what state or other country in the world!!! ONLY location! They are not saying where do these people live so we can sue them to, or raid there house also. Only to determine jurisdiction for the courts.

I visit geohot's website every day to check to see if anything is new on his troubles with sony. That's what privacy policy's are in affect for. The owners of the policy have to get concent from the people under them before they are able to give out that kind of personal informatian that pertains to whereabouts. Maybe everyone should visit his site more often for detailed updates and to personally see and read the case docket files so they can understand what is fully going on.

Just my little 2 cents on it.


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