Warez groups start releasing Vita Cartridge dumps for Cobra Blackin
The Cobra blackfin, a piracy dongle for the PS vita, has been available through modchip retailers for a few weeks now, and several users have had the device in their hands for a while. Japanese scene site emuonpsp for example posted a few screenshots of the device a couple weeks ago, after purchasing it through a reseller.
Cobra blackfin enables Warez groups to dump Vita Cartridges
Warez groups have also been able to get their hands on the device, including group PSiCO, which we had already mentioned for their dump of the Uncharted cartridge.
Maxconsole are reporting that PSiCO have released a few vita game dumps over the past week, and apparently they are not the only ones. Other groups, including Big Blue Box, are apparently releasing pirated games. Games made available through these groups include Modnation racers, Tearaway, Little deviants, and Touch my Katamari.
These dumps are made through the Cobra blackfin’s embedded cartridge dumping system. PSiCO mention that the dumps made through the blackfin appear to be incomplete and “strange”.
Warez group PSiCO points out interesting questions surrounding Vita Cartridge dumps
More interestingly than the games (as a reminder you won’t find any links to these pirated games here) are the release notes from group PSiCO. In their notes, they directly call out hacker YifanLu (“the lightbulb on twitter”) about some statement he apparently made on the license files. They also ask for scene sites to encourage discussion on the Vita cartridge licenses, as this part is still a black box for the scene (and one of the reasons the cobra blackfin relies on a convoluted P2P mechanism where one of the pirates actually needs the original game). As an answer to this, we at wololo.net are totally ok with people discussing the technical aspects of DRMs, as long as the discussions stay legal and it is understood that what you write in our comments or forums is your own responsibility. We do not, however, accept talks or information on how to pirate content, and sometimes the line between the two is thin.
Overall the NFO from PSiCO’s release is extremely interesting, because it shows that the group follows the scene pretty closely, which is to be expected but it is interesting to get confirmation of that. It also gives some insight on how the blacfkin dumping process works (and how it might be broken in some aspects), advice for the Cobra blackfin team, and other interesting information. We reproduce it in full below:
__ __ __ __ ____\ \ / /__ __ __ ______ __ \____/ \ | | / \____/ ..___:_________ ____:_____ ________ ___:____ _____:_____ .. \\ __ \ \\__ // \/ __ // \__ / \ ___ // / / _____/ // / / /_______/__ \___// / ..// \ / \ / /// \ \ / // \ \_ \ / // // / / / ...//__ / \__ _/ \_ / \__ / \ __//... /___/ \______/ \___/ \______/ \______/ _____ : : : : ______ \___/ __ / P S i C O \ __ \___/ _ _____/ \_____/ \_____/ \__ _ ModNation Racers: Road Trip (c) Sony Computer Entertainment _____ _________________ ___________ ___ __ /___ RELEASE INFO: \_______/ /_______/ Store Date...: 22.02.2012 | Filename..: psi-mrt.0** Release Date.: 14.06.2016 | Size......: 34 * 47,8 MB Platform.....: PS Vita | Format....: .psv (BlackFin) Region.......: EUR | Languages.: Multi 5 Genre........: Racing | Game ID...: PCSF-00002 __ ____ ____ __________ ___ _ \___________/ /_________/ \____ RELEASE NOTES: ___/ Rev up your imagination and create the craziest kart racing championships ever with the unique features of PlayStation Vita. Use cutting edge touchscreen technology to build racetracks, create Mods and design karts however you want in fast and fun ways. By downloading even more designs generated by rival racers via the in-game Share Station, youll never drive the same track twice. ___ __________________ ___________ _ __/ \_ NOTES: ______________/ \__________/ Well here we are again, after 4 months of silence :) Today we bring you the first PS Vita game, dumped by the "BlackFin" from Team Cobra ! After our first attempt to release a PS Vita game we saw a lot of criticism from public devs about the way it was pred. So in this nfo we want to clear up a few things and give some insight about what was and what will be in the future for the PS Vita scene. -- About the license situation -- 1) To the lightbulb on twitter: We don't get your understanding of "unique" when it comes to the license files for PS Vita games, but when the SAME file, from the SAME game, with the SAME Game ID differs in almost all regards, compared from two cartridges, we don't see how they can NOT be unique. 2) To the vitadevwiki / public scene site admins: The understanding of the licenses are pretty much zero and we can only guess what information they might hold, so if any effort should be put into the PS Vita hacking right now, it has to go towards figuring out the structure and information these .rif files hold. It would be awesome if public discussions could take place on your platforms. 3) To our fellow competitors: We would advise you to take extra caution with releasing PS4 and PS Vita titles because of what we said above. We got word from two independent sources that the licenses from both platforms COULD be tracked by Sony with information like first time activation and current console / user ID. As long as you never played the game or had the console online where you played it on, we would see no problem in releasing it. -- Suggestions to Team Cobra -- 1) The dumping process needs to be fixed, it's very unstable sometimes and seems to be related to the distance between the card emulator and the BT dongle? 2) Sometimes writing a game to the card emulator ends up in an error, and we could not identify the cause for this issue. You might want to investigate it and come up with a fix :) 3) In addition to 2) we (and probably a lot of users) would also welcome a seperate piece of software which can write to your microSD card filesystem (CEFS) with a standard card reader, rather than the BlackFin one. 4) Please enable individual file dumping from within the BlackFin software. 5) It would be awesome if users could check the currently available game carts which are online, without having the BT dongle plugged in. 6) A companion software for smartphones with bluetooth would be awesome, so people can authenticate their games on the go. PS Vita is a handheld after all right ? ;) 7) Open your servers !! :D -- To the archive / catalogue / preservation scene -- 1) The BlackFin dumps don't seem to be 100% complete. 2) The dump sizes look a bit strange, the only two we could identiy right now are: 1.958.739.968 Bytes and 3.959.422.976 Bytes The BlackFin Software lists them as 2GB and 4GB, whereas those bytes converted are around 1,82GB and 3,68GB. We don't know what might be missing here (if even). 3) It contains custom information from the BlackFin at 0x2000. -- To the keen devs -- 1) The filesystem on a PS Vita game cart seems to be exFAT, check 0x8000 for the beginning of the partition. If anyone could come up with a extractor, that would be very appreciated. -- For the previous and (hopefully) coming PS Vita scene -- 1) We will dump the games as *.psv, because the dumps are not conform to any ISO standard and don't seem to be 1:1 raw binary dumps either. After *.nds, *.3ds, *.wud, etc. this should be fine ;) 2) If anyone else out there pres PS Vita games, please include the game ID in the nfo, so the good private souls and Team Cobra can invest in those games to be hosted for authentification in the future. 3) We request a nuke for our own release: Uncharted_Golden_Abyss_EUR_MULTI5_READNFO_PSV-PSiCO Because the expected exploit to play those never happened and we now have a working solution by Team Cobra. Shoutout to BBB: Touch.My.Katamari.USA.PSV-BigBlueBox - should follow this fate. And to whoever released: World.of.Final.Fantasy.PAL.PSViTA.READNFO-VBL - *** you <3 Well this is it guys, we hope you enjoy this release and the rest that is coming up. This release is Multi 5 (Eng, Fre, Ger, Ita, Spa) Thanks to Team Cobra for making this possible !! And as always, if you like this game - please buy it !! ___ _____________ _______ __ __ \_____\ \_______________/ \_______ GREETINGS: __/ ECHELON - LIGHTFORCE - KALISTO - STRiKE - PROTOCOL _______________ __________ _____ __ ___/ \____________/ \__/ \___ PSiCO - 2016 _/
Who’s behind these groups?
The scene is full of drama and conspiracy theories, as well as trolls who are in just for the lols: Scene website PSHax are building the theory that PSiCO, maxconsole, and Cobra are all working together (and might be the same people) to ensure good sales for the device. Although I’d love this kind of conspiracy theory to be true, there’s no evidence pointing to that so far, ans it seems the group are “fairly” independent (as independent as groups can be in the small world of console hacking). Also, a group named VBL pretended to release a pirated dump of “World of Final Fantasy” for the PS Vita, and the news was picked up by a few websites. This is highly unlikely given that the game is not out yet, and the NFO hasn’t been confirmed at all (that, and the group is completely unknown).
It is tough to separate actual news from rumors at this point, so tread carefully.