PlayStation 2: Discover this new method to hack the console without changing it

by Jerry

Seven years after the console was abandoned, a flaw has been discovered in the PlayStation 2 to launch unofficial software. This method is new because it does not require physically modifying the PlayStation 2. Using a DVD player flaw, it could be used on other Sony consoles.

Are you still playing with your PlayStation 2? While many players have abandoned Sony's second generation of home consoles, some continue to run it to play iconic titles like Gran Turismo 3, GTA 3, Onimusha, Kingdom Hearts, Jak and Dexter or Final Fantasy X or XII. More than 4000 games have been released on the console that remains the best-selling console in the world to date, with more than 155 million units sold between March 4, 2000 (release date in Japan) and the end of 2013 (the year of the end of production).

Read also – Switch: Nintendo declares war on hackers who modify their console with a chip

Like the PS1, but unlike the PS3 and psP, the PS2 is zoned. If you wanted to launch a Japanese or American game, you had to buy a console from that area. Alternative method: you could also "chip" the console, i.e. weld to the motherboard an electronic component that allowed to bypass the protections of the console. Of course, modifying the console also allowed it to acquire other (sometimes much less legitimate) functions, such as launching game backups.

This flaw exploits the DVD player of the console

Twenty years after its launch, no hacker had so far managed to launch unofficial code on the console without going through the hardware modification. And now a method has just been discovered. CTurt, a computer security engineer has published on Github a program that exploits a flaw in the DVD player of the PS2. This program bypasses a drive protection that normally prevents unsigned code from being launched.

Specifically, this method uses the video DVD playback function. The optical disk is recognized by the console as a medium for a film and launches the application. That's when the hack comes in: it injects code, bypasses protection and launches a second, unsigned application, which can be a homebrew game, an emulator or a game backup. This program can also be an explorer that is used to launch different programs contained on the same disk.

In the presentation of his project, the author of this program explains that this method could be used for other consoles at Sony. While waiting for this to happen, you can find below the few videos posted on YouTube by the developer to illustrate his project.

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