Demystifying Game Console Security: Over 10 Years of Ownage Unraveled presented at HITBSecConf Malaysia 2013

by Peter ‘@bl4sty’ Geissler,

Summary : Are you interested to learn about the delicate hacks and tricks that go on behind the curtains of the scene better known as “the console hacking scene”?
Are you eager to find out who/what is behind all this incredible work that allows your little Nephew to play a copy of Call of Duty on his XBOX?
Then this talk is for you!
While most (info)security researchers were dabbling with regular computers, mobile phones and other common equipment over the past 10 (or longer) years, a select few nut jobs focused all of their energy in breaking the DRM systems of various video gaming machinery.. Thousands of man hours, thousands of personal money thrown in, and often no financial gain.. What drives these people?
The presenter of this talk happens to be one of those nut jobs and will take you on a tour down memory lane. We will highlight the advancements in video game console security over time, discuss various hardware- and software- based exploits devised to circumvent the security on said platforms.
The scene(s) surrounding video game security has an interesting psyche, with various (longtime) actors and very different motives. On one hand there are the do-good hackers who fight for running their own code on the hardware they rightfully own, and on the other side of the coin we have various shady commercial entities with commercial incentives.
Getting sued or subpoena’d over legal reverse engineering work is no longer a running gag amongst you and your friends on IRC. The presenter will describe the timeline of the legal issues fail0verflow had (or didn’t have) to face after the infamous talk at 27C3 almost three years ago.
Next to all easy-going lo-tech stuff we will ofcourse have some in-depth technical information which has never been presented/detailed before. Amongst which, but not limited to:
* Owning the Nintendo Wii bootchain
* Details on DVD/BR drive security and modchipping (x360/wii)
* Oldschool Nintendo DS BIOS/ROM dumping wizardry
* Recap of Playstation 3 ownage
We will conclude the subject with some statistics and foresight for the future of hacking video game consoles. Some speculation on the new XBOXone and PS4 will go here too, there’s little we can _really_ say about them at this point, but some things are known already and worth a mention.
Last but not least, the following list of companies *will* get grilled during this talk, if you’re an engineer working at such a company, don’t feel bad. We all screw up every now and then!