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News Link • Whistleblowers

Wrongly Jailed Security Whistleblower Caught Up in PlayStation Hacker Hunt

• Kevin Poulsen via

Armchair cybersleuths on the trail of the PlayStation Network hackers have been focusing attention on a chat log that shows several technically sophisticated PlayStation tinkerers discussing Sony’s security vulnerabilities in knowing detail just two months before the breach.

“If Sony is watching this channel they should know that running an older version of Apache on a RedHat server with known vulnerabilities is not wise, especially when that server freely reports its version and it’s the auth[entication] server,” writes “Trixter,” one of the chatters.

The Feb. 16 chat was held in the IRC channel “#ps3dev.” It’s a gathering spot for people hacking their PlayStations for various purposes not approved by Sony, such as installing custom firmware, trying to restore the console’s ability to run Linux, or working to build a home-brew version of the PlayStation Network.

The parts of the discussion that delve into Sony’s security posture appear eerily prescient in the wake of the intrusion that exposed personal information on 77 million users, and copies of the chats are now lighting up gaming blogs and Twitter feeds. “IRC chat of PlayStation Network hacker!” reads one post.


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