The PlayStation Vita’s hacking scene has (fortunately) been a generally unproductive endeavor and, thanks to the actions of one individual, the Vita hacking community has lost the “only bullet we had in our barrel”. Remember that video we showed you last month of a Vita running a pirated PSP ISO? Well that exploit has been released to the public and, instead of ushering in sweeping negative consequences, the leak has more positive ramifications for Sony and legitimate Vita users than you could ever imagine.
The story starts 4 months ago when a hacker under the alias of “Coldbird” discovered the “Urbanix user mode exploit” along with a kernel mode exploit. Fast forward 3 months and Coldbird had a nearly fully functional (lacked PS1 audio support) custom firmware that can run pirated PSP games. Since the custom firmware wasn’t complete, Coldbird and his team continued to work on it while debugging their firmware with some beta testers. Though Coldbird locked the CFW to only work on specific Vitas, a beta tester leaked the files.
“The only way for three men to keep a secret is if two of them are dead.”
One of the testers decided to pass the locked CFW onto a rival hacker group, hoping they could unlock it. Unable to do so, the group forwarded the code along to yet another party. A few digital change of hands later, and the CFW wound up on the desktop of “Sam Jordam” who proceeded to upload the exploit to the world. This prompted Coldbird to announce his retirement, and as a bonus, he’s taking all of his unreleased work with him, in order to further provoke the Vita hacking community against Jordam.
So to recap: Coldbird builds locked Vita CFW after months of work, custom firmware gets uploaded so anyone can download it (but no one can use it), lead Vita hacker quits; Sony has acquired everything they need to prevent this hack from ever gaining traction if unlocked or the exploit is utilized otherwise.
Not bad! But what’s most entertaining about this feel-good tale has to be Sam Jordam’s self-centered perspective on the whole situation. The conversation Coldbird and Jordam share after the leak paints Jordam as a tasteless, tormenting troll who appears to revel in the personal misery he caused Coldbird:
Coldbird: Mr Jordam, recently it seems you pretty much enjoy this leaking game of yours. However, this is a dangerous game. For your own good, I suggest you quit and delete all related files on your mediafire account. You have received your one and only warning. If you insist on walking this wrong path, something we both don’t want to see will happen. And I am sincerely hoping you choose the path wisely.
Sam: By releasing these files, not only does Sony have the files to stop this exploit, but also the public is aware of what they need to do.
I win regardless of whether you release this yourself, or someone else patches the files I leaked to remove your protection, and there is nothing you can do to stop me. Unless, you have something to trade me.
Nothing to regret. Not my files, not my problem.
And with that move, Jordam helped Sony fill the Vita’s only known major security hole while simultaneously eliminating the leading Vita hacker.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t able to find a “God bless internet trolls” picture, or any image remotely positive towards the despised demographic to accompany this article, but Jordam has my approval. What’s your take on this story of secrecy, competition, betrayal and profound trolling?