The PS Vita Hacking Scene Suffers A Major Setback

The PS Vita Hacking Scene Suffers A Major Setback

From dedicated memory cards to required internet connection to move files, Sony has taken extra precautionary measures with the PS Vita to prevent the hacking of its hand-held console. This is understandable, considering what happened with the PS3 and PSP. So when a new exploit was released that would allow users to play pirated PSP games on their PS Vitas, it seemed like a victory for the hackers over Sony. But in truth, it was a blow to the hacker community with almost Shakespearean drama in the background.

In the last entry of his blog, the hacker Coldbird details the terrible unfoldings of what went down behind the scenes. According to Coldbird, the initial security hole was discovered 4 months ago. 3 months later, a working installable modified PSP firmware (custom firmware or CFW) had been developed. The people working on the CFW continued to work underground and away from the eyes of Sony and the public. Then, through a careless act of backstabbing (e tu, Brute?) by one beta-tester, tragedy struck. The CFW was leaked and entered circulation among rival hackers until it fell into the hands of one individual who opened the floodgates and released it to the public.

This individual had already been known between Coldbird and other hacker colleagues as a malevolent troublemaker and after the CFW had been released, Coldbird contacted the individual. The interaction could only be described as a showdown scene between two arch-rivals, with Coldbird on one side with a sharp warning of the dangers ahead, and the other individual as his nemesis, laughing maniacally in response. Something seen only in movies and online message boards. Ah, the drama.

As a result of the events that occurred, Coldbird has publicly announced his retirement from the hacking community (for the second time) and taking all his hacking work and knowledge with him. In the meantime, the CFW itself will most likely be unusable very soon, if it isn’t already. The security holes will probably be patched and a new firmware for the Vita released, and now that Sony has its eye on the hacks that were leaked, no hacker will want to work on them, lest they risk the full fury of Sony’s legal department. While I’m sure the hackers will find a way through the Vita’s security eventually (they always do), it looks like the little handheld is secure for now.

The truth about the Vita PSP Kernel Exploit [Welcome to our BLAG]


  • With PSP and PSOne games being offered at really reasonable prices, I don’t really think there’s much demand for a Vita hack. However, I desperately want one for 3DS to remove the region lock. Shelling out $300 for a new console to play another region’s games isn’t fun, especially when you’re not pirating the imported games, you’re still paying for them. Gotta get a JPN 3DS for Ace Attorney X Layton, and it’s going to be VERY expensive.

    • There’s definitely demand, there’s just little justification. However if hacking the thing meant I could have multiple switchable PSN accounts on the system without having to swap memory cards and do factory resets I’d go illegitimate in a heartbeat. Especially if it also meant I could dump all my old PSP games I have to ISO and copy them over to the Vita without having to re-buy them (and many of my PSP games aren’t on the US or PAL PSN anyway)

  • When prices are next to 0 people still pirate. Look at Android and even the Humble Bundles.
    Although in the case of Android sometimes it’s just to get around Play’s “Compatibility” for a device.
    No matter what there will always be people hacking platforms, and software piracy going on. If the Vita can’t be hacked anymore the people that paid for their games will still be able to play them, if they don’t die from old age first waiting for them to load.

    • Looking at the Humble Indie Bundles (and other similar deals) shows me that when something is free, people will pay for it.

  • Wow… days old article that is now irrelevant. Total_Noob has now released a PSP emulated custom firmware thus making the issue for the scene irrelevant.

  • Its a bit of a shame really…. what a lot of people fail to realise is that the hacking community does thing beyond the scope of allowing a console to run pirated games. Coldbird for example was working on CFW for the PSP that enabled infrustructure online gameplay for every system linkable title. even though there is adhoc party, it still requires a ps3.

    • They may create things other than piracy, but ultimately warez are going to account for a vast majority of the reasons people use CFW.

  • The benefit is you can play your PSP games that are not available on the PSN, or you own as a now useless UMD – and there is no piracy of the Vita games.

    Seems like win/win from a ex-PSP Vita user perspective.

  • hack or no hack, its inevitable, stop picking on hackers, they love tinkering for the sake of tinkering. open the floodgates of games big and small like ala-iOS huge option games

  • Oh god this! A million times this!!! I am so sick of formatting every time I want to play a different game T_T (I currently have 3 games I’m playing – all requiring different accounts).
    *edit* supposed to be a response to the above (the comment box said “reply”…)

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