Marcan42 of Fail0verflow fame was at the CCC33 event this year, to explain how Fail0verflow exploited the PS4 hardware in order to run Linux on the PS4.
The presentation goes back to all the pain the hackers had to go through in order to make Linux compatible with the PS4 architecture, which Marcan42 described several times throughout the presentation as “not being a PC” as it lacks lots of the legacy architecture bits required for a computer to constitute what is known today as an IBM compatible PC. Fail0verflow had demonstrated and released their PS4-compatible fork of Linux a year ago.
Marcan42 explained how the base of the hack consisted in a man-in-the-middle attack of the PCIE bus on the PS4, with the rest of the presentation focused on why several patches were required on the linux kernel for it to run on a PS4.
Towards the end of the demonstration, Marcan ran Steam on the PS4 to confirm 3D Hardware acceleration was working.
Most of this is probably not new for most people who have been following the PS4 scene for a while: Fail0verflow’s Linux port for the PS4 has been available since last year’s CCC convention (when they demonstrated Linux on the PS4 for the first time), and we’ve had Steam running on the PS4 for a while as well. However Marcan confirmed he has been improving Linux compatibility with some of the features of the PS4 very recently.
Linux works on PS4 4.05, no plan for an exploit release
Asked if Fail0verflow planned to release an exploit for a firmware higher than 1.76 (PS4s running firmware 1.76, the only publicly exploited firmware, can be found but are expensive), Marcan answered that his whole presentation was running on a 4.05 PS4, but also confirmed that Fail0verflow do not intend to release any exploit for the PS4, as their focus is 100% on the Linux port (for which all of their work is already available on github) and they want to avoid typical scene drama.
The presentation did not make it clear if fail0verflow are running the same PS4 4.05 exploit as Chaitin tech, and there is still no indication that anyone intends to release any exploit for firmwares 4.xx.
Fail0verflow’s presentations however are always of great interest as they will help you understand what goes through the console hacking process. You can watch the full presentation below.