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Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Open discussions on programming specifically for the PS Vita.
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yifanlu
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Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Post by yifanlu » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:04 am

UPDATE (8/4/14): It did not work. All money should have been refunded. If you did not receive a refund, please PM me.

Thanks to everyone who donated! The fundraiser is over.

I said before that I wouldn't ask for money again, but I'm afraid I'm breaking that promise today. A situation came about where I might get access to information that could help us in figuring out the security processor in the vita (currently, there is no public information at all about this CPU). The security processor is key in figuring out the boot process, decryption, the kernel, and the secure kernel. Hacking the security processor (which would be a challenge even if we had all the information we need) would be the checkmate for us. The catch is that getting this information will cost $1400 USD. Now I know what you're thinking and I assure you: this is completely legal. There is no backdoor deal or corporate espionage. This is not any sort of bribe money. Unfortunately, even though this is all legal, the deal hinges on the fact that the sellers don't suspect that we are using this to try to hack the Vita, so I cannot disclose too much information. The only thing I know is that IF the deal takes place, then MAYBE we get some information on the Vita security processor (which, for the last two years, I've been trying to find with no luck). There's a good chance that even if everything goes right, we end up with no information or useless information, but I am getting desperate and the smallest clue is worth exploring... even if it comes with a $1400 price tag.

Because of the vagueness and lack of a clear payoff, I completely understand if you do not want to donate money. I am willing to take the financial risk in pursuing this myself if necessary (I don't want to wait too long in case the seller changes their mind). I can't promise anything. I can't even promise to share what I bought (I might be required to sign an NDA). But I will share as much as I legally can at the end of this endeavor.

Some key points:
* This deal is 100% legal. It is not in the black or gray market. We are not paying a bribe or blackmail or anything shady. The money is not going to Sony (we're not buying a devkit or registering to be a developer). We are not buying potentially stolen parts from Foxconn factories. Everything is completely clean, or I wouldn't even be considering it.
* The intentional vagueness comes from the fact that this approach of information gathering (as far as I know) has never been attempted before. If Sony finds out, they might find a way to stop the deal. If the other party sees this as something controversial, they will likely back out to avoid any trouble/press.
* EVEN if I get all the money, they might still back out of the deal. In that case, I will refund everyone in full.
* EVEN if the deal goes through, the information we gather from it may be useless. In that case, we would lose the bet, and the money is gone.
* If the information does turn out to be helpful; because of the sensitive nature of it, we will share it with a small group of vita hackers for the time being. However, I promise that no later than a year from now, any information we get not subject to NDA will be released.

This could be the one weakness in the Vita's fortress of defenses. Or it could be a red herring. It's a $1400 gamble. If the deal falls through, I will refund all money collected.

$1400/$1400

Yifan Lu
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Last edited by yifanlu on Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:38 am, edited 11 times in total.

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Re: Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Post by fate6 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:34 am

Not to detract from what I think you are trying to buy(won't say it since you want to be vague but good luck if its what I think it is) but didn't you say you would leave after UVL was done?
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Re: Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Post by d@rk51d3 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:50 am

fate6 wrote:............. didn't you say you would leave after UVL was done?
I guess UVL isn't quite done, then. :mrgreen:

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Re: Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Post by boughtavita » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:28 am

I'm interested in donating to this, though wont be able to donate a significant amount - but could you clear this up first? I thought you were quitting the scene too.
fate6 wrote:Not to detract from what I think you are trying to buy(won't say it since you want to be vague but good luck if its what I think it is) but didn't you say you would leave after UVL was done?

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Re: Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Post by Rauliki » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:54 am

I would pledge 10$, but I too would be interested about this. I'm guessing there is a bug in the processor like the one in RC4, and that would make possible to hack the security keys.

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Re: Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Post by RDJ » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:18 am

So... super-low-level-hacking I guess?

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Re: Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Post by yifanlu » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:15 pm

fate6 wrote:Not to detract from what I think you are trying to buy(won't say it since you want to be vague but good luck if its what I think it is) but didn't you say you would leave after UVL was done?
Like I said, when you asked me to clarify, I said I'm not going to work on UVL or vitadefiler or any of that stuff for reasons. But I would still help people and answer questions.

Also, this deal was half a year in the making. I'm not going to walk away because of grievances for something unrelated.

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Re: Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Post by Connador » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:30 pm

Just wanted to say that I donated, I can't wait to hear more about this if it leads to something!

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Re: Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Post by reprep » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:37 pm

1200/1400? that was fast. WOW.

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Re: Vita Hardware Fundraiser: Part 2

Post by fate6 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:43 pm

yifanlu wrote:
fate6 wrote:Not to detract from what I think you are trying to buy(won't say it since you want to be vague but good luck if its what I think it is) but didn't you say you would leave after UVL was done?
Like I said, when you asked me to clarify, I said I'm not going to work on UVL or vitadefiler or any of that stuff for reasons. But I would still help people and answer questions.

Also, this deal was half a year in the making. I'm not going to walk away because of grievances for something unrelated.
Ah kk it's just this is far more then just helping ;)
Good luck tho and here's to SCE not shutting this down.
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