It has come to my attention that some of my speculations regarding what a F00D exploit could (or could not) lead to for the PS Vita has been unhealthy for the scene. My articles (here and here) have contributed to spreading generally inaccurate guesses about the actual usefulness this could have for end users.
When I started discussing console hacking topics on this blog back in 2008, it was one of my most important goals to make sure I would not contribute to spread misleading information regarding the scene. One of my mottos, and a piece of advice I regularly give to guest bloggers here is “We talk about the stuff we understand. When we don’t know, we shut up, or we clearly state what we don’t know”.
I try to constantly keep that in mind, but it seems some of my speculations in recent articles regarding the progress on F00D have contributed to spreading unjustified excitement. Heck, the mere fact that I am talking about F00D hacks on this blog, whatever I say about it, probably sends the wrong signal.
I have contacted Yifan Lu and team molecule today, after I learned that I was way off on some of my guesses regarding F00D. Here’s what Yifan replied:
If we do manage to hack f00d and release everything publicly; there will be nothing substantive for the “end user”. This whole endeavor is basically a challenge for us like summiting Everest–only interesting to people who really care about that stuff. The way everyone talks about hacking f00d–I already know people would turn on us the moment we release something and it turns out to be nothing.
To Yifan’s point, his statement here is not different from what he has been saying publicly on his blog or in social media for a while now: hacking F00D is a challenge for PS Vita hackers, but will not directly bring anything to the end user. I failed to simply take this statement to the letter. I got confused in the past by other hints I have been given from other sources, which in general were just guessing (wrong), or simply trolling me and the rest of the scene.
Among the things I have speculated that turn out to be completely inaccurate: the possibility for a F00d exploit to directly lead to a 3.63 hack or a permanent HENkaku (see Yifan’s statement below).
It used to be much easier for me to know what a given vulnerability could mean, back in the PSP/ePSP days, because I was closely involved in the process, and this is why people trust this site and the news we publish here. With the complexity of PS Vita hacking and the fact that I’m much, much less involved with the process, it is easy for me to make noob mistakes. I have lots of pride in the fact that many people visit this website when they are trying to separate hoaxes from actual progress on the scene, so I realize it hurts the scene even more when I speculate on things I should not be speculating on, and contribute to spreading rumors.
To rephrase it: hacking F00D could indirectly lead to more discoveries regarding the internals of the PS Vita and help the end users, but it is not the goal of team molecule, neither would it be the most direct way to achieve that. Specifically, Yifan added:
The stuff people want: 3.63 psn spoofing, 3.61+ game decryption/running, permanent henkaku hack, hacks for 3.63, etc is orthogonal to hacking f00d. It is much “easier” to do though other means like finding a kernel exploit or porting an existing WebKit exploit. We (molecule) have retired from all that stuff so it’s up to other people to pick it up.
I hope this clarifies things here, and I apologize if some of my personal excitement has contributed to spreading false hope on this research. It’s still exciting to see how far team molecule will take this, but probably not for the reasons most people expect.