Sony to Inspect PlayStation Hacker’s Hard Drive

Wired: SAN FRANCISCO — PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George Hotz must allow console-maker Sony to comb through his computer’s hard drive and retrieve information “that relates to the hacking of the PlayStation,” a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston’s ruled from the bench in Sony’s ongoing legal action against the New Jersey hacker, who goes by GeoHot. The lawsuit is in connection to the 21-year-old being the first to fully hack the 4-year-old console, a jailbreak allowing it to play pirated and home-brewed games.

The story is too old to be commented.
Loner2382d ago (Edited 2382d ago )

He probably secure erased everything when he got served with papers.At least i hope so

@ Below

There is no restore points left because the entire drive is erased including the operating system.Theres no way to get back anything when its done correctly

Dante1122382d ago (Edited 2382d ago )

It'd be funny if he forgot to erase his computer restore points if he did try to erase his stuff.

Edit: I love wikianswers. Is this true?

BattleAxe2382d ago

This just in...

"Sony to give hacker Proctology Exam"

peowpeow2382d ago

It is true to some point. There are ways to permanently delete files, since when you normally delete it's basically still there and new data overwrites the old..but there's software for a perm delete

Mahr2382d ago

Tampering with federal evidence carries much stricter penalties than copyright infringement, which is what geohot is currently on the hook for. Erasing the data would be an exquisitely bad move.

smoothdude2382d ago

Well it would be a win for Sony if he did erase his harddrive as all his work will be lost. Everybody make sure that you donate $0.01 to GEO HOTZ via credit card because it costs money to charge a credit card. He would be losing money.

Hey it is my money, I can do what I want with it. Sound familiar?

Enigma_20992382d ago


Ever seen Forensic Files... yup, it is. I've seen several cases solved using this technique.


Funny you mention that... You weren't by any chance in that epic thread a few years back, were you?

bluwulf2382d ago

They can't restore thermite.

Bitches love thermtie.

uxo222382d ago

He's not stupid, I'm sure he has backed his hard drive up in several placed. He probably has friends that has copies of everything he has.

I also thinks it sets an erie precidence for a judge to grant such a thing. I'm sure sony will comb through things on his hard drive that is not related to the PS3 which would be an invasion of his privacy. A classic example of how big business can pretty much do whatever they want in this country. They can probably sell your kids into slavery if the get the right judge in a courtroom.

What's up next? The MIAA will be claiming the hard drives of many people that they claim has stolen music. Software companies will be requesting the inspection of computer systems for suspected software pirates. A lot of you people are glad for sony's victory, but you won't be glad for what it hold to future privacies.

Mark my words, this is not a good thing.

Biggest2382d ago

But that WOULD be stupid. No one involved in illegal proceedings is stupid enough to give all the info to other people. If they do, they won't be involved with illegal proceedings for long. Adding more evidence and witnesses is stupid as hell.

inveni02382d ago

Seems like this judge is siding with Sony.

That's a good thing. It's a sad world when you can't make a profit off of something you've worked so hard to create. Hackers like GeoHot think that taking Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness from big companies gives it to everyone else, but that's just not true in cases like these.

HolyOrangeCows2382d ago (Edited 2382d ago )

You mean hobbit and goblin porn.

He probably already backed it up and set atomic magnets to the hard-drive (Like in "The Core"), but if there's still info, I'm sure it will be quite useful to Sony.

Death to the hackers.

badz1492382d ago

what do his parents think at the time like this? I don't think they're happy. maybe this will make them regret letting him in the basement for too long!

GrandTheftZamboni2382d ago


If you are right about the privacy concerns who should we blame? Sony, legal system or hackers?

Inside_out2382d ago

I don't agree with hacking but i can't stand companies like Sony who think they can just walk all over everyone's rights when they feel like it. They have very little evidence and are grasping at straws, trying to over turn laws...this is bullshit. I felt sorry for Sony in the beginning of this whole mess...not anymore. If the kid did something wrong...charge him, if not go back to Japan.

What's to stop Sony from putting some thing on the hd. It's a farce at this point. They have nothing and now are trying to make shit up. Geo needs a Donald Trump type of lawyer to slap Sony straight.

mac_sparrow2382d ago

"What's to stop Sony from putting some thing on the hd"

Umm, the fact that they won't get the original, they'll get a backup. Do you really think that they look for evidence on the original drive?
What if it were set up in such a way that a failed attempt at cracking encryption wiped the drive?

They'll get a copy, then they have to note where the evidence is, and prove its existence on the back up that the court has.

Ju2382d ago

Gehot is all about openness, isn't he? He want's to open company secrets and publish them.

Now we want to be concerned with his "selective" privacy? In the worst case he gets what he cries for. He has to make his own stuff public. Good job. Welcome to the other side of the fence.

So far he had no problems to define for everybody else what privacy is for a company. I am sure if he is true to his argument he can open all his tools and research.

inveni02382d ago

Bubs for Well Said. Don't let Sony have privacy, but demand it for yourself? Hypocrisy...the idiot's kryptonite. Looks like GeoHot is lying in the bed he made. Karma win.

DragonKnight2381d ago

@cez of rage: Very little evidence? GeoHot ADMITTED to doing it. I'm pretty sure that that's all that any judge would need to grant this kind of request. You act as though there is reasonable doubt as to the fact that GeoHot hacked and distributed the keys. He openly admitted to it thinking the iPhone ruling would save him.

On another note, I'm sure that the judge will probably order supervision so that Sony can only look for relevant data.

Thecraft19892381d ago (Edited 2381d ago )

No its not when the HDD is formatted multiple times that's it. But formatting would probably be tampering with evidence meaning a bigger punishment than Copy right infringement.

GodsHand2381d ago

@ Dante112

You, any anybody can recover deleted data. But if you overwrite the data over and over again with useless data, nobody can recover that. I once had a programe called system mechanic, which installed another trash bin on your desktop that was labled incinerate. With in that floder was a utiltiy to overwrite deleted data up to 10 times with garbage files. The only problem with it that I found was the larger the file, the longer it took to delete at a 10 times overwrite.

MRMagoo1232381d ago

I dont think he would of deleted his HD i suspect he wouldnt of even thought for a second sony would get control of it so would not of deleted anything i hope they find some embarrassing pics that "somehow" get leaked involving him and his mum and a tub of butter

AndrewRyan2381d ago

Hacker's are not stupid. They get rid of all the traces of their work.

SephireX2381d ago

Let's hope Geohot wins the case because God help the PS3 if he doesn't. Hackers will rip it to shreds with vengeance against Sony who are to blame in the first place. Sony included the OtherOs feature which Geohot used to get the root keys. They are to blame and them only. Of course the dumb non-technical non-knowledgeable Sony fanboys will disagree but their opinions don't count in my eyes.

blahblah2381d ago (Edited 2381d ago )

yes, it is. shredding would actually be as long as writing same size file. fat32 for example only changed first letter in file name to greek letter pi and marked place as available. but, as long as that was not rewritten, file still existed

although, there are shredding tools and more importantly, there are encrypted partitions (preferably partitioned over many files) with dead mans hook. and i'm quite sure he used the second one.

as i have quite a lot of sensitive informations on my notebook (like ssh keys and passwords for servers i maintain), i have to use that. even if i lose my notebook, unless you exactly know how to prevent dead mans hook during 5 min time limit, encrypted disk wipes into nothing. the only way to avoid dead mans hook is to put disk into other version of os, but good luck mounting that one as it depends on original. and the only time disk got wiped was when i worked drunk as hell, too drunk to remember.

but hey, happened to NASA

so always, if you sell your computer use tool like

DaTruth2381d ago

"This just in..."

"Sony to give hacker Proctology Exam"

They are saving that for his cellmate to do!

Guitardr852381d ago

@ Seph

And your opinion doesn't count either...But the court's does and THEY are siding with Sony. GET OVER IT!

The era of emo heartbleeding kids is over

diatom2381d ago (Edited 2381d ago )

Great, take a civil DMCA case to a felony contempt of court/destruction of evidence charge...

Bankruptcy is 1000X better then cell mate lovin.

catguykyou2381d ago (Edited 2381d ago )

He's being sued, not taken to court for a crime. There is a deference. He won't be going to jail for this. Not unless the authorities press charges, which they haven't. This is a simple matter of Sony wanting to shut him down so he can never do this again, while delivering a message to anyone else who is thinking of doing it.
I swear, based off of peoples comments, hacking the PS3 is the equivalent of killing the president/ prime minister.

ThanatosDMC2381d ago

What about Sony's rights?

DragonKnight2381d ago

@SephireX: You're kidding right? Let me explain 2 things to you.

One. Having knowledge in technology has absolutely nothing to do with anything in the context which you used the phrase. You don't have to have knowledge in hacking to disagree with GeoHot.

Two. Allow me to form for you a chain of events. Sony releases 60GB Phat PS3 with OtherOS feature. This feature allows the installation of the Linux OS, granting the ability to use homebrew apps and games through said OS. Sony provided that feature LEGITIMATELY. Was it good enough for hackers? No.

GeoHot decided to use that feature to hack the PS3. His original claim for doing this? To open access to the RSX GPU, which Sony blocked for memory reasons.

Sony implemented a "two birds with one stone" maneuver when GeoHot did this. In order to address memory footprint issues of the PS3's hypervisor, as well as stop GeoHot in his tracks, Sony not only removed OtherOS from older model PS3's but removed the feature entirely from the Slim model even before GeoHot's original hack attempt.

So, all of you saying that this hack was due to the removal of OtherOS are forgetting a simple fact. That being that WITH OtherOS still available in the beginning, hacking attempts were still made for other reasons.

It is a lame attempt at justification to say that anyone hacked the PS3 to restore OtherOS, because the hacks were attempted even with OtherOS. Hackers just don't want to admit that they want free games. Because they look bad if they do.

So no, hoping GeoHot wins this case will do absolutely nothing. If he wins, hacks continue and get worse. If he loses, same thing except hackers won't be so public lest they get sued as well.

Think before typing.

+ Show (27) more repliesLast reply 2381d ago
Blacksand12382d ago

One down many more to go Sony.

Noami2382d ago

i think right about now hacker see sony as the same Jew saw Hitler.