PS Vita Hack: (Video) The Z finds a way around some of the new Firmware limitations

Several people have pointed to me that I shouldn’t talk about “PS Vita hacks” when what I’m really talking about are hacks inside the PSP emulator running on the Vita. But I’ll have to say in my defense that with each iteration, the PSP emulator on the Vita is going further away from the actual PSP firmware, with its seemingly endless series of security features (that are probably really here to avoid a stupid crash happening on your Vita, but also have the convenient side effect of delaying hacks inside the psp emulator).

Take the recent firmware 2.10 for example. It blocked the possibility to create subfolders within the /PSP/GAME folder from within the PSP emulator itself. The Vita system of course can still do it (and needs to do so when you purchase and install a psp game on your Vita), but the emulator can’t do it anymore on its own. Which, in all honesty, is probably fine, and avoids the emulator deleting your games by mistake.

But what it really means to us is the impossibility to install homebrews in the PSP emulator on the Vita.

This new “security” feature comes in addition to the mysterious disappearance of the “.” and “..” folders, or the impossibility to create files named EBOOT.PBP inside the GAME folder (things that I discovered a bit more than a year ago while working on the first release of VHBL), or to the strange 8.3 file naming enforcements that were added in firmware 1.80.

Yes, although Sony doesn’t seem to care enough about the PSP to really shut down VHBL and other hacks, they do seem to enjoy adding delay to our work. If I were a conspiracy theorist I’d say they enjoy the cat and mouse game as much as I do, especially when the scene boosts the sales of a random PSP game high enough that it becomes the best selling psp title for 2 months in a row, beating AAA titles such as GTA.

But hey, fear not, hackers are resourceful too, and The Z already found a way to bypass the limitation that prevents us from writing into the PSP/GAME folder. The trick is simple enough: rename the PSP/GAME folder into something else, add your content in there, then rename it back to PSP/GAME. Sounds like a pain in the A##, but when all is said and done, the Menus running through VHBL or other hacks will probably just do that transparently for you.

Enjoy the video showcasing how he’s doing it, manually for now, in PSPFiler:

Source The Z, obviously :)

  1. Batman’s avatar

    Yeah man thanks for the update. It is not that bad after all, just needs manually programming for Games to work =P

    Reply

    1. pploco1996’s avatar

      It`s manually renaming, not manually programming

      Reply

      1. Batman’s avatar

        Either way you will need a program to do it, since psp’s folders cannot be renamed on stock menu. That’s what I ment thank you

        Reply

        1. Fred’s avatar

          No you don’t.

          Reply

  2. .?’s avatar

    New exploit?

    Reply

  3. jade’s avatar

    wololo a very misleading topic anyone see this would think it was a hack for the vita an not the psp emulator.

    Reply

    1. Keyblade Spirit’s avatar

      Yes, but it’s a hack for the PSP emulator that runs on the Vita. PSP games won’t run natively on the Vita, so Sony made a built-in PSP emulator for the Vita.

      Reply

    2. Martyslav’s avatar

      seems like its forbidden to talk about it :D

      Reply

  4. Universal’s avatar

    So is it fair to say, the PSP/Vita hacking scene is actually benefiting Sony?

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      At its current stage I would say yes, definitely. There is no bad side effect for Sony to the level of hacking we’ve seen so far on the Vita. The only side effect has been to boost the sales of 10 PSP games over the past year.

      Reply

      1. Decius’s avatar

        Usermode only exploits -ahem-. Kxploits don’t benefit Sony, I shouldn’t need to explain why.

        Reply

  5. tryonmydream’s avatar

    lol The Z you’re too fast to found the way

    Reply

  6. dimy93’s avatar

    3 lines of code and this manual labour will become part of automatic install of vhbl menus and everybody will forget that it even existed
    Still I’m not sure how good is for the memory stick to constantly overwrite PSP/GAME’s name

    Reply

    1. Milkman’s avatar

      That should be quite a problem indeed. The lifespan of a normal SD (Vita memory cards are basicly the same) is about 10.000 writes per bit.

      Reply

  7. AtoZ’s avatar

    zzzz is the name of exploit game the Z found it.. Will you release it to public or just keep it..

    Reply

    1. gunblade’s avatar

      to release it or work on outher expoits… tuff choice…

      Reply

  8. ioriel’s avatar

    I’m starting to think, that psp hacking is a trap from sony for distracting us from our real scene the Vita’s Hacking , ok seriously ,will this psp hacks leads us somewhere in ps vita hacking?

    Reply

    1. ioriel’s avatar

      i’m not trying to say that i don’t like o appreciate the actual hacking work i know how hard could it be (and actually is) i was just wondering if this is the real path?

      Reply

      1. kenny2858’s avatar

        Honestly… ps vita shouldn’t get hacked until 5 or more years. Why? 3rd party companies are scared because of ISO loaders for ps vita. (If it actually gets hacked.) You might say, “Thats not the reason why I want the ps vita to pirate games.” Well, not for you, but for others… thats one of the main reasons. They don’t care but I understand because they might not have $ to buy games… either that or they just do it >_<. I think it should stay how it is with VHBL & eCFW. If it does get hacked it should only be able to play PSP, Homebrew, & Legally bought ps vita games. (No ISO loader) Also no hacking online like the psp could with CoderPr, NitePr, etc.

        Reply

        1. kenny2858’s avatar

          Either 3rd companies are scared, or, sony ain’t doing shit for us Ps vita users. (Don’t wanna start a rumor about 3rd party companies getting scared if i’m not sure.)

          Reply

          1. gunblade’s avatar

            thing is i guees most things now days from iphone to tablets is prety much expected they be moded… but they still seem to be making money…..

          2. kenny2858’s avatar

            Ps Vita can’t be compared to iphones or tablets… iphones & tablets been out for YEARS. Ps vita, if im right, 2 years. They make money because most people hack their phones. Sony would lose a lot if vita got hacked this early & 3rd party companies won’t make games.

        2. Goody’s avatar

          Actually people do not have much money to buy PS Vita games, here in the Philippines alone, owning a Ps Vita is luxurious enough. Buying games for it is very luxurious and is not a necessity. That’s why people here want hacks and piracy because they cannot afford even if they want to do it legally.

          Reply

  9. chuckthetekkie’s avatar

    Watch this, next update will block us from renaming the PSP/GAME folder by making it read-only. It’s obvious they can’t go any further that that otherwise PSP games won’t be able to write gamesaves.

    Reply

  10. ioriel’s avatar

    what happened with that turkish exploit?, i haven’t read about it for a while.

    Reply

  11. Milkman’s avatar

    Just my thoughts… Is’nt it possible for the custom firmware to catch/sniff/grab the /PSP/GAME/ directory actions from the homebrew and change it on the fly to something else like /PSP/HOMEBREW/ or something (for all read and write actions)
    Just like a high level filter.

    Reply

  12. Dev’s avatar

    This:

    ioriel on April 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm
    I’m starting to think, that psp hacking is a trap from sony for distracting us from our real scene the Vita’s Hacking , ok seriously ,will this psp hacks leads us somewhere in ps vita hacking?

    Reply

    1. Decius’s avatar

      OP makes it sound like if Sony keeps patching the Emu, they might find a way to crash the Vita from within the PSP Emu. Of course a crash doesn’t always lead to something of use. Who knows, pretty sure hardware dumping is the way to go..

      Reply

        1. decius’s avatar

          hahah wow, you have to solder up each pin on the physical board and then some how read the chip with the use of an FPGA I guess. I don’t know what you could do with a RAM dump, obviously gain knowledge but you want a NAND dump.

          Reply

  13. we.need.coldbird’s avatar

    WE NEED COLDBIRB! THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO HACK THE VITA

    Reply

  14. capcomlegend’s avatar

    the Z kicks ace keep up the good work

    Reply

    1. Albo’s avatar

      The Z is the man with the plan!!!!

      Reply

  15. Dark_Alex’s avatar

    @The Z use kernel in root and flash psp OFW 1.50 as default not .prx get nor”S to result in full access to get full ps vita exploit. your welcome. by the looks of it you would have stumble upon that eventually that should save you some time, you’re well on your way.

    Reply

  16. msparky83’s avatar

    Could it be…the real Dark_Alex has returned?

    Reply

  17. axel-25’s avatar

    if he is he should prove himself. do something cool. :)

    Reply

  18. roorer’s avatar

    first sorry my english!
    All involved are doing a wonderful job with VHBL.
    most do not know if and early to speak, but when vain seek an escape for the vica with hack psvita games and not only with the psp. Great job you guys are doing.

    Reply

  19. gunblade’s avatar

    …nice Z prety smart…

    Reply

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