Clone Wars

Some of you might be following the activity on the ps3 “scene” quite actively. I am not, as for some reason I decided it was more convenient to stay up to date with OFW on my PS3 rather than even bother. However I follow it from a distance, ’cause, well, I like drama.

The latest piece of news that caught my attention, as reported by ps3hax, is about the True Blue dongle. If you own a PS3, you probably know that it is quite easy nowadays to pirate games on that platform, although it comes at a price. If my understanding is correct, people who have a 3.55 PS3 can install a custom firmware on it, and potentially play backups as long as the game does not require firmware 3.6 or higher (and, obviously, all recent games require a recent firmware).

A bit of history

Some “hackers” (the infamous warez group paradox, it seems? Apologies for the inconsistencies here, as I said, I follow the ps3 scene from far away) have found a way to play recent games on the 3.55 firmware, but they decided they wouldn’t share the technique publicly, and instead make some money out of it. Yeah, we’re at the dirtiest level of piracy here, but it seems there is a good market for that…

What they did is create a dongle (called True Blue) in order to run these new games. The dongle is initially advertised as a device that enables recent games to run on firmware 3.55, but it’s pretty obvious that this is not what the dongle does.

In order to secure a good money income, what this group is doing consists in removing the Sony DRMs from the games, patching the games to work on 3.55 (note the trick here, at this point, these guys could release the patched videogame on p2p networks and let all pirates enjoy the game for free), and adding their own DRM to the patched game. At this stage, you need to buy their dongle if you want to play the DRMed pirated games, with the illusion of these games being free…

All of this is a nice technique, and it might almost be legal since the patched games are not being sold by the pirates (the tool to read them is) and cannot be directly downloaded from the site…

Of course, a quick analysis of the usb dongle by many competitors of this True Blue dongle led to an army of clones, such as one named the JB2USB. These clones perform as well as the original ones, which resulted in the PARADOX pirates losing money.

would you like to pay me so I can install a virus on your ps3?

Their counter attack is now so gross it makes me laugh: PARADOX basically install a virus in every single one of their patched games. The virus detects if the dongle is a “real” True Blue Dongle, or a clone. if it’s a clone, the virus will do some random stuff to your PS3, such as entirely wiping out your hard drive. Their announcement says:

anyone using this clone will be subject to data loss as a result of random HDD erasure as well as other effects.

So if you were still doubting if a legit company is behind these, you got your answer, we’re much closer to mafia techniques here. If you bought a True Blue dongle I hope you feel great giving your money to people like that.

The True blue blog announcement

Are the people behind True Blue playing their last cards because they are understanding their secret is about to be broken? This is what people at ps3hax seem to think. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re using one of these dongles, you should stop now, as the True blue virus has been reported by many people to also incorrectly detect True Blue dongles as fakes (and therefore destroying your PS3 even if you’re one of their customers).

The PS3 scene is such a mess right now that the best is to laugh about it. So, to summarize, Sony chased away all the “good” hackers who would have publicized that type of information (allowing the piracy of a few titles, but also allowing Sony to patch the problems), and all is left now is a putrid black market. Close to no homebrews, and a gigantic nest of piracy, sounds like a great result. (It is also possible to downgrade PS3s back to 3.55 with a hardware modification, for those who are wondering if they can join this land of fantasy and fun)

A suggestion for paradox: There are chances the PS3 is storing at least passwords and maybe credit card numbers somewhere in clear on the PS3, why don’t you start installing in your patched games an application that steals your customers’ credentials on top of the HDD Erase virus? You’ll probably make money quicker this way :)

  1. Insua’s avatar

    Dommage… but of course the big question is

    why did you bought a PS3 when you can buy a x360 ?

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      My initial choice was for the bluray player. Also, most people i know own a ps3, it made more sense from a multiplayer perspective.

      Reply

      1. CATPower’s avatar

        even in Asia not Japan, lots of people buy PS3 than X360 and btw what is Paradox exactly? Are they a company?

        Reply

        1. wololo’s avatar

          Paradox is a warez group, they are hackers who specialize in distributing pirated games (cracking). They have existed for as long as I’ve known about piracy, so that’s at least 20 years ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PARADOX_%28warez%29

          Reply

    2. dave’s avatar

      They wouldn’t let me buy an xbox because I didnt live in a trailer… finally my friend gave me an old one and now it just sits around making my living room ghetto with its ‘big crayon’-feeling controllers

      Reply

    3. krimoz’s avatar

      Because the games are better (IMO of course).

      Reply

    4. UE’s avatar

      Hmmm I bought a ps3 because the exclusive games are more interesting than the xbox360′s, the controller is superior for any non shooter game, it was cheaper and they don’t tend to break horribly or RROD
      That and I own a GOOD computer that shits on both.

      Reply

    5. Jacky-D’s avatar

      “why did you bought a PS3…..”
      WHY IS EVERYONE RETARDED?

      Reply

    6. flayer’s avatar

      I bought an xbox back in ’06 because I wanted to play halo 3. 2 years later it got the rrod error and proved unrepairable. Then I bought a ps3 which got thr ylod error after only a few months. Now i’ve moved on to pc gaming and laugh as people think that they can run battlefield 3 on their half decade old consoles. So basically both ps3 and xbox 360 suck.

      Reply

  2. SzosszeNET’s avatar

    Hey Wololo! :)

    “why don’t you start installing in your patched games an application that steals your customers’ credentials” – nice one, but on CFW no PSN (SEN…) access thus cannot store card data…

    Anyway nice article.

    Reply

  3. pinoyps3’s avatar

    @wololo pls make a savegame exploit for the ps3. i think its the only way to hack the latest fw of the ps3.

    Reply

    1. Riku’s avatar

      -Facepalm-

      Reply

    2. jc_gargma’s avatar

      That TB contained suicide code was revealed just after its launch, and only a fool could support such tactics.

      Personally, I think every single dongle owner who loses their HDD data or suffers whatever other system damage from using a dongle is getting exactly what was coming to them.

      I have no sympathy for those who try to harm the scene, or for the users who enable them.

      Reply

        1. UE’s avatar

          I agree with you my identity stealing clone… now have your harddrive wiped ;) :P

          Reply

          1. Iono’s avatar

            lol, sorry, forgot to change name back :)

  4. fc’s avatar

    Ha! glad I don’t have interests in consoles

    Reply

  5. Jet’s avatar

    This sure is a great drama

    Reply

  6. Rui’s avatar

    Well PS3 users should do one of two things… Either use a common 3.55 CFW or simply update their consoles and enjoy the newest titles online. This is getting ridiculous… It passed more than a year and nothing new really. Those dongle companies keep selling their shit everyday nonstop to morons! I wouldn’t buy any of those pieces of crap just so i can play 2 or 3 newer titles with their “amazing” patches. And then greed ends with these actions, a virus included! The PS3 scene is dead a long time a go, it’s just a matter of time until it ends for good! Nothing do find, nothing do develop, nothing! And why? Because it’s too damn hard and people don’t want to go to jail for it.

    Reply

    1. Mike’s avatar

      In response to this, I legally own all my ps3 games. But I stay on 3.55 for the homebrew (more compatible media play (specifically for mkvs), emulators). I own a true blue dongle so I can rip and play my new games on my 3.55 cfw playstation without having to purchase a second system. I have no need for online function because I have a 360 for that. At the end of the day it is ONLY 60 bucks and you get to keep all the functionality of custom firmware.

      The PS3 scene is not dead, because someone found out how to make the games work on 3.55.

      Reply

    2. Shaitan’s avatar

      It’s over 120 games now, also in principle I don’t agree that the TB team has killed the “scene”, in a way they’re keeping it alive, it’s been about 4 months and sony still haven’t blocked the patches. If there method was released Sony would have patched it and the scene would be trully dead.

      Reply

      1. wololo’s avatar

        This is a bunch of kids playing pirated games, and a bunch of people making money out of it. I don’t call that a hacking scene, just black market.

        Reply

        1. JurianAssassin’s avatar

          Agreed. I think someone should just reverse engineer their patch code, then release it publicly. Just to piss these swindlers off.

          Reply

          1. Mr. Hypocrite’s avatar

            But releasing homebrew that allows you to play pirated games that are 10 to 20 years old is ok? I realize the company that made the games wouldnt get money anymore but when i buy used games off craigslist the company doesnt see a dime either. So does that mean once i see a game on craigslist i can pirate wololo? lol im bein a douche. im thankful for you enabling dead video game piracy on psp and vita :)

        2. Rui’s avatar

          That’s the point wololo. These days PS3 hacking has ended and all these companies care for is making money allowing ppl to play more and more pirated games! That’s why the scene ended, because there is nothing worth anymore. All of you talking about those awsome dongles should be ashamed because that’s not the most important point on hacking a system. The PS3 hardware could give us more to play with IF ppl care less about playing pirated games. I can see this going the same way the PSP did. And yes there are many ppl working on hacking the Vita but for our good they are being more cautious these days. And i never said that the TB killed the scene but i am really mad because they took the HARD WORK done before and they are making real money out of it. It’s not fair! Some guys were arrested and had to pay some nasty fees so these shitheads come and get the real profit. Not cool guys, not cool!

          Reply

  7. Sharo93’s avatar

    i still dont get sony..when a guy (hacker, a clean one) is interested in a hardware,he tries to see what this device do so he finds a way to push the device to its maximum potential , now for sony’s ps3 when it came out it was (and is ) full of potential , especially that OtherOS stuff so people started playing with it, it was cool…when it was taken away these guys wanted it back,then sony replayed with a law suit and all hell broke lose…you see if your ps3 can be hacked to have homebrewe on it is very interesting and it will attract people to the ps3, because people think “oh the ps3 can have emulator , a media player, etc. , that is so cool im getting one “, the market for the ps3 goes up and sony is happy (more money), this is like the fansubing business ,and for people thinking of piracy, most hackers (clean ones ) do not do it , because they see the potential of the device and what it takes to create a device like this and they also feel for the game creators, what they have to go thru to create a game, that is why most of the hackers do not like piracy ….

    Reply

    1. CATPower’s avatar

      well, not all. some are just fuckin stupid and keep on hacking like shit.

      Reply

  8. Mcleod’s avatar

    I don’t know how TB is able to create all these anti-clone technology so easily, maybeee it’s Sony in disguised as TB trying to get control of the Ps3 scene and then conquer the world!!!!!…… Anyways tthousand has been keeping everyone informed pretty good with this mess, I was planning on getting one last month but then it all started. I have 2 Ps3 one kmeaw and the other updated, I’ll just keep everything the way it is. Only wish that project64 was available for the ps3 that would complete everything.

    Reply

    1. CATPower’s avatar

      just buy a pc if u want project64.

      Reply

  9. Salah’s avatar

    I got an PS3 with 4.XX hacked an i can run my backups :D

    Reply

    1. AppThinker’s avatar

      impossible

      Reply

    2. Yuki-chan~’s avatar

      Now that’s just fachking impossible :/
      if you really did it can you tell me how?

      Reply

  10. svenn’s avatar

    lol, your right, this drama is fun ! :D I love my computer, i’m never doubting again!

    Reply

  11. Insua’s avatar

    Run homebrews is getting harder and harder, but maybe that is an opportunity to emerge new machines (no sony, no ms, no apple) built to gamers and for gamers. A space for indie games, for freeware, for emulatores…. Even this kind of machine would have some support to new ppl who want to do their own game. Of course, one can say, buy a PC but i think this should be a new kind of machine, but a powerful one.

    I think with this kind of new “era” these pirates would eventually end.

    Reply

  12. Adrian’s avatar

    The funny thing is, that at least the PSN password is stored in plain text.

    Reply

  13. be0ut’s avatar

    hey guys.. a little off topic but i just found out myself.. free puzzle game u can download for the vita.. just search for treasures of Montezuma blitz.. here is a link http://tomblitz.alawar.com/

    Reply

    1. Ahmed’s avatar

      Awesome, thanks man!

      Reply

  14. while’s avatar

    FUCK YOU PARADOX! I always enjoyed your super famicom demo, and Dreamcaststuff, but if you can read me now, let me say to you that you are a band of fucking bastard. What happened to you?

    Now, that’s how this fucking world is working, money is making money, customer is just a customer, plenty of dollars in the pants you think. fuck you.

    You just destroy the last part of freedom we have.It’s a pitty.

    It’s really a chance to have some good guys who don’t act like you,fucking PARADOX BASTARDS.

    Reply

  15. tigerchitpile’s avatar

    it would seem that the pirates dont like piracy…how ironic

    Reply

  16. Lindo’s avatar

    my ps3 3.55 wont run almost games.

    Reply

  17. DigiTak’s avatar

    Wow the ps3 scene is like collapsing on itself. Well at least Sony didn’t do it this time.

    Reply

  18. Ahmed’s avatar

    Sometimes hacking is bad…im kind of with Sony here!

    I truly hope Vita scene does not end up in a mess like with the PS3. :/

    This is bad for everyone.

    Reply

    1. NOT COOL’s avatar

      You’re avatar matches your words… LoL..
      THIS IS SO COOL, WOLOLO

      Reply

      1. Ahmed’s avatar

        LoL, not really :p
        I thought those avatars were random?

        Reply

  19. Irving’s avatar

    This is why I feel that these companies should just give up on combating piracy: The pirates will ALWAYS win, no matter what countermeasures they use, and their DRM is usually more of an impedance to paying customers, while only a minor inconvenience to pirates (ie. Say a PC game has some CD keys, requires the CD in the disk drive to run (only as a check; the game doesn’t read from the disk at all), and has to be run through a third-party program (Steam). This is a huge pain in the ass, but the only people who have to deal with it are the ones who buy the game; pirates just download a “cleaner” copy that runs with no DRM, no CD required, and no third-party programs/social network logins). This causes games to actually be *easier* to pirate than to buy, which has the opposite effect of what they intended.

    They would still get plenty of paying customers if they made QUALITY products, rather than restricting the paying customers in an attempt to hinder the pirates, who get what they want anyways (and usually at more convenience).

    In the case of the PS3 and Paradox, it’s an example of the worst way this can turn out: piracy (and hacking in general, since hacking leads to piracy, and is thus UNFAIRLY lumped together with it)is difficult, so not many people are able to do it, which leaves the door open for people to try to make money off of the situation, like Paradox is doing. If the PS3 was less restrictive, like the PSP, there would be a large homebrew/hacking scene, and methods of piracy would be common knowledge, with nobody making illegitimate profits off of it, and with the companies having a chance to fix whatever exploits allowed the piracy (which might garner more sympathy for them when they are inevitably victims of piracy, since they’ll have at least provided a quality product for the people who DID pay for it).

    Hopefully the emerging trend of avoiding publishers altogether and fan-funding games (a logical step anyways, since the internet makes a third-party distributor obsolete) will lead to the publishers like Sony and Microsoft realizing that their anti-piracy (and, by extension, anti-homebrew, despite its harmlessness) policies are ridiculous and don’t benefit them in any way. If the rumors about the next gen consoles preventing players from playing pre-owned games turn out to be true, I’m sure it will come crashing down on them and they’ll need to change their ways.

    Reply

  20. NOT COOL’s avatar

    Sony sees record $6.4 billion loss, cuts 10,000 Jobs Worldwide

    Reply

  21. paKO JONES’s avatar

    @wololo

    That’s why we are so proud of you and all the peaople in the psp scene. You never asked for money to get your hbl to play homebrews. I remember I told you about people making money out of it in “mercado libre”. I don’t like the ps3 that much, I decided to get an xbox 360, i like better the idea of using my body as a control. This is the part when you smile and say “shit happens”.

    Reply

    1. paKO JONES’s avatar

      and sure it does!!!

      Reply

    2. CATPower’s avatar

      why not buy Wii instead? it’s a healthy console. If u know what i mean.

      Reply

  22. NitsudR’s avatar

    The only reason I would want to hack my ps3 is to enable the remote play hack someone talked about here, since Sony will probably never truly support it, I am going to find out more about it

    Reply

  23. CATPower’s avatar

    shit i thought clone wars was like star wars clone wars. turn out to be about ps3 hax afterall. ah well, nice info btw.

    Reply

  24. Iono’s avatar

    Money, mmm…

    Reply

  25. WarBearFace’s avatar

    No good can come from charging for the ability to pirate. Sure a large part of it is corrupt as hell but there is a small portion that can be used for personal good. Most people pirate the games with no concern, but some people use this technology to play backups of their own games on a HDD, or use it to play games they own which have been damaged (really it sucks to repay for a game you know you payed for already). For these few people their legal experience is greatly enhanced, they never have to switch game disks, and get to play a wrecked game again. When you start charging for these sorts of things you essentially cut these people out, and your left with the people that will gladly pay 15$ for the ability to have any game they wish. Really these people should be ashamed of themselves, this is the kind of information that should be open source. It would be like GEN charging for CFW on the PSP, or the iphone-dev team charging for a jailbreak. Sure you can do it but you gain the nice effect of public disdain and people who do it for free will always come along. With the added effect of viruses for those who woud use a free option is just plain dirty ethics. These people aren’t just morally deprived, they’re stupid to boot. Sony learned the hard way people will always find a way in. These people aren’t Sony, they can’t defend for long and forever after will be known as the douches who charged people for a service usually given out for free.

    Reply

  26. TheGuardian’s avatar

    I wanted to buy the PS3 I remember, but I chose to buy the PSP instead because of the only thing the web browser does without fail, DOWNLOAD ADULT VIDEOS! Seriously, I know it is akward and stuff, but the PSP web browser sucks for regular use, so I just use it for my own dirty purposes! :)

    Reply

    1. WarBearFace’s avatar

      That and pictures. It’s pretty reliable for that too. However any pdf file will never download.

      Reply

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