Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
FreeDVDBoot – Hacking the Playstation 2 through its DVD player (cturt.github.io)
168 points by farmerbb 5 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments

Apparently you can use FreeDVDBoot in order to install Free MCBoot, which helps a lot since you would no longer have to find a friend with a Free MCBoot memory card or buy one off of Ebay.


Isn't it interesting how these sort of exploits exist for probably every hardware/software out there, just that they are never discovered? Since the amount of people with the knowhow for reverse engineering, discovering, and actually building something out of the exploit is so miniscule.

The tooling for this is now free and better than it was when the PS2 was released. Programming is hard, there are so many problems we try to solve, it's nigh impossible to hit all the marks when time is short and the money isn't there to keep testing.

I'm curious how much manual effort it takes for an individual to break this kind of protections. I understand that you basically try one exploit after another, but is there a smart way to automate this? For example, AFL can give you a lot of test samples, but burning and testing tens of thousands of DVDs for potential code path doesn't seem to be feasible, so ideally one would put many cases - but that can't apply to e.g. DVD headers and crafting the test cases sound like a total pain. On the other hand, if one achieved that, they could do some sort of binary search to figure out which exploits work. Perhaps the trick is to plug in a modified DVD reader in order to automate the process?

I guess that my question is: is there something like AFL, but instead of generating many test cases, tries to create a big one containing as many potential crashes as possible?

They say on the page they they used an emulator for testing. No DVD burns required.

Well when the PS2 came it out the binary dumps and fully blown emulators weren't available. There are many developments that got this to the state where they could run this on an emulator to debug without running/modding hardware.

I find it likely that similar exploits can be found in other dvd-playback-enabled consoles

The Xbox 360's DVD drive was basically its downfall, people found a way to replace the original firmware by a custom one, Microsoft tried to do a cat & mouse game to detect the custom firmware but they lost.

The 360 DVD drive hack didn't do anything at all to enable unsigned code. It was only for piracy. The King Kong shader exploit would be a more appropriate example :)

They lost the 360, all the follow up consoles on the other hand...

This is a great article and exploit. Good job and thanks for the learning experience.

This is great news. The PS2 was the last console I ever bought.

Mine was the PS3 which is surprisingly easy to modify and their ps1 and 2 emulation works really well. It’s a nice little box if you can pick one up.

I've been looking for one which can play SACD's and has the hardware emulation, they're actually a bit rare.

The launch model PS3 is a beautiful thing. Four USB ports, lots of card slots, hardware PS2 compatibility, plays Blu-Ray/DVD/CD/SACD... and that cool Spider-Man 3 typeface.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact