VHBL

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After nearly 4 months of playing cat and mouse, Sony finally brought the exploit titles, used to trigger the TN-V eCFW at firmware 3.01, back.

King of Pool, 101-in-1 Megamix, Fifa (Soccer) 2011/2012, Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks and Persona 2: Innocent Sins, to be specific, are now back at the PSN store and can be bought, redownloaded, etc.

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Even though it’s only been targeting the PSP emulator so far, the Vita scene has been pretty lively over the past 2 years. With about 20 exploits released over the past 24 months, including 2 major “eCFW” releases (one around Christmas 2012, the other one in December last year), believe it or not, the Vita scene is actually releasing more exploits than the PSP scene used to, which is unfortunately the result of these exploits being such short-lived…

To counter the hack, Sony typically remove the exploited games within 48h of our announcements. To mitigate that, we announce the exploits secretly to our community through a process we call “ninja releases“.

For the people on 3.10 or 3.12 who are not lucky enough to have access to the latest VHBL exploit (JP only, up to firmware 3.12!), the question most people want to be answered now is if and when the next exploit will be released.

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A few days ago, Sony released the firmwares 3.10 and 3.12 which both fixed the vulnerabilities in the previous firmware, that allowed the execution of the TN-V eCFW via various exploit game titles.

Since kernel mode exploits are rare and scarce, it should be obvious that there won’t be a working TN-V eCFW release for said new firmwares anytime soon.

This brings us back to our old Half Byte Loader, which is indeed still working at firmware 3.10 & 3.12, as long as you own the right game from the right PSN store.

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I’ve been getting a lot of complaints about my last article from the 10 Days of Hacking due to the sudden decrease of quality, and I want to apologize by creating a bonus day where I want to talk about some interesting hacks and developments.
Consider this the real Day 6 if you may.
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Lets dive directly into what I consider some of the best hacks in the modern Scene of the PSP.
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Don't want to update your PS Vita?

Don’t you hate that you need complicated Proxies, a second PS Vita or even a PS3 to get a game to your PS Vita which runs an older Firmware? It seems our user Crivonyx found a new way to download content to a PS Vita which sports an older Firmware. But how does it work?

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If you have read my Vita TV review (and if you haven’t, do it now!), you know I have been hugely disappointed by the device so far, mostly because of the poor level of its game compatibility and services offer.

Mathieulh, of ps3 and psp hacking fame (remember pandora batteries?), happens to both be a beta tester of TotalNoob’s upcoming TN-v4, and to own one of the Japan-only Vita TVs. He was successfully able to run TN-V on his vita TV, now making the device much more interesting to my eyes.

TN-V is a homebrew enabler running in the PSP emulator of the Vita (and now Vita TV). It lets users, among other things, run emulators for the major “old school” consoles, such as the GBA, SNES, Neogeo, megadrive, NES, Nintendo 64 etc…

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We’ve mentioned several times in the past few days that firmware 3.00 has been a surprise to some of the veterans in the PSP/Vita scene, as Sony has patched several undisclosed psp exploits with this update.

It is fairly rare for Sony to patch an exploit before it gets publicly released, more so when it comes to exploits in the psp emulator, which in two years of Vita’s existence haven’t proven to be a security or business threat to Sony.

Nevertheless, firmware 3.00 appears to contain patches for several exploits that were known probably by a handful of people. Firmware 3.00 contains typical “blacklist” patches in the savedata_utility.prx, but also apparently deeper fixes in the psp kernel.

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PSVita Official Firmware 3.00 was a major update and it has been discovered that a LOT of game exploits were patched (around 20) so many developers whose private exploits got patched are releasing them for earlier firmwares. Frostegater has already released two: Pipe Madness and Fieldrunners. This time, it’s Yosh aka wth on the /talk forums with Half Minute Hero.

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Frostegater released a VHBL port that will run up to firmware 2.61. This release followed the 3.00 Firmware update on the Vita, which surprised the scene with several patches and unforeseen exploit fixes for psp exploits.

The Z has been hosting the VHBL port, but a tiny mistake in one of the patches was having the VHBL for 2.61 on fieldrunners ship with a beta version of GBOT’s 138 menu. This update corrects this issue.

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With the hurried up release of the Fieldrunners VHBL port to firmware 2.61, many questions got left unanswered. The most frequent one is: “how the hell can I buy the damn game and stay on firmware 2.61, since the PSN constantly asks me to update to firmware 3.00???”

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Less than two days ago, hacker Frostegater released a port of VHBL for game Fieldrunners, compatible with Vita firmware 2.61 and below. There was initially no plan to release this exploit in the near future, but Sony patched the exploit prior to any public release with their firmware 3.00, therefore Frostegater decided it would be a good idea to release, for those of you who would like to stay on on 2.61 or below, in order to get some cool VHBL fun.

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You may have heard of different naughty surprises that came with firmware 3.00, and you may ask what the hell this has to do with me? you may also wonder about the future of VHBL and TN-V4, I’m gonna tap on that here, but I’m also gonna explain why I think Sony has made a huge dumb mistake.
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Earlier today was the firmware 3.00 released, and this demonic firmware fixed one of the greatest PS Vita Half Byte Loader exploits, that is was available. I am speaking of Frostegater’s FieldRunners exploit, which supports firmware 2.61 and below!

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The release of Vita firmware 3.00 earlier today brought several new features that The Z described to us here, but also the fear that some of the many exploits existing within the PSP emulator of the Vita would be patched.

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