Today I have the privilege to interview developer Some1. If you are running a Custom Firmware on a psp with a recent firmware (anything above 6.35), you are probably using some of his work every day without knowing it. Some1 once ported HBL to an exploit, but he is mostly known for having found kernel exploits in recent firmwares up to 6.60, which basically are the key to install and run a Custom Firmware on your PSP. Today, we discuss his past experience on the PSP, and his future work on Sony’s devices.
Wololo: Hi some1, can you quickly Introduce yourself?
Some1: My name is Jason, and I’m just some guy who was bored, had a psp, and wanted to learn some programming.
Wololo: when did you get your first PSP, and when did you decide to start developing/hacking on it?
Some1: My first psp was a Christmas present from my parents back in 2005, however I didn’t start developing/hacking on it till October 2009 when I wanted to play some GBA/N64 emulators on my psp.
Wololo: what was your first contribution to the scene?
Wololo: Is there a hack/homebrew that impressed you, or that you love?
Some1:The Pandora of course. In my opinion it was the most genius “hack” for the psp. Also, my favorite homebrew is Cavestory, awesome plot and gameplay.
Wololo: A few months ago, You found a kernel exploit and released a downgrader for sony’s latest firmware, the 6.60, only a few days after Sony publicized their new Official firmware! Can you give a few technical details on the vulnerability you used?
Some1:The vulnerability used in 6.38/6.39 was a simple miss-check of an argument. It checks if an argument is < 2, but even when that is false, it still does more code instead of returning an error. The one used for 6.60 however, I didn’t look much into since it was not found by me. The kernel exploit was originally found by Davee, however, from what I can see, the way it worked was a miss-check on a cell in a structure.
Wololo: There was some kind of mystery around this downgrader, when a testing video “leaked” on youtube…can you explain why you didn’t release the downgrader at that time? You promised me you would tell me everything after the release :P.
Some1:: The situation was quite a bit of a mess, the video release was a miss-understanding from a tester. The kernel exploit was handed to Zecoxao by Davee, and then Zecoxoa later gave it to me to port the downgrader for it. The reason why I didn’t want the video out was because it said “Kernel Exploit By some1”, and I always like to give credit where credit is due.
Wololo: Are you working on something else? A new project you’d like to share?
Some1: There are a couple projects I have started but I can’t find the time to finish them. One of the projects at the top of my list is finishing a new devhook-type app made my TheLemonMan which will allow you to go from OFW 500-660 to another OFW between 500-660.
Wololo: One of the last barriers o the full psp hack is to be able to provide unbrickers for the new models of PSP. Some progress was made a while ago on the ta88v3… do you know a bit about that?
Some1: The investigation by Davee/Proxima wasn’t so much as progress as it was a step-back. Previously it was believed that if we (somehow) dumped the pre-ipl, all the security on the ipl would fall, now we know that, that is not true.
Wololo: Tell us a secret. Something you know about the PSP that others don’t
Some1: I would rather not comment on my unreleased work 😉
Wololo: : You seem to be on a roll of finding exploits/ adapting them into downgraders… is there some kind of advice you would like to share with people who are interested to know more about hacking consoles? Any technique?
Some1:: If you’re looking for PSP kernel exploits, you’ll need to have a good understanding of MIPS assembly, a lot of patience, and a lot of time. Also, keep an eye out for those sltiu, and remember unsigned means negative values are not less than zero.
Wololo: Will we be seeing you on the PS Vita scene?
Some1: Yes, I will be buying a Vita as soon as it is released in US, and I will be involved in the scene as much as I can. I’m also currently loooking for someone who does have a Vita so I can do some remote testing. [Note from wololo: I’m that guy, I guess 🙂 ]
Wololo: A final word for the interview?
Some1: I would like to give a message to any and all devs already in the psp scene and new ones coming for the vita scene; do not make any type of piracy software! I’m really getting tired of all the piracy going around, the ps3 scene (the very little that I followed) seemed to be based around mainly piracy, I haven’t seen that much homebrew for it, it’s quite sad, and I don’t want to see the Vita go down the same route.
Thanks a lot for your time some1, see you soon on the Vita side of the fence 🙂