Sony Granted Geohot Restraining Order
Sony wins first round in anti-hacking case on the same day a PS3 firmware update blocks piracy.
Sony appears to have won the first battle in its fight back against the hackers that breached PS3 system security, after its motion for a temporary restraining order was granted.
The court found that Sony had shown sufficient evidence that Hotz was in violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and had shown that it would suffer irreparable harm if the order was not granted.
As a result of the order – a copy of which has been obtained by PSX Scene – hacker George “Geohot” Hotz has ten working days to hand over “any computers, hard drives, CD-Roms, DVDs, USB stick, and any other devices on which any circumvention devices are stored in [his] possession, custody or control.”
Rather optimistically, the order also demands that Hotz “retrieve any circumvention devices or any information thereto which Hotz has previously delivered or communication to the defendants or any third parties.” With the jailbreak tools long since available on the internet on scene websites and even Carnegie Mellon University’s website, such an order is impossible to follow.
The news is a big win for Sony, after Hotz’s legal team filed for dismissal claiming Hotz, a New Jersey resident, had no case to answer in the state of California. Sony had cited Twitter and YouTube posts as proof or jurisdiction – both firms operate out of California – which the judge queried, saying that if use of California-based social networking sites made for a Californian court case, “the entire universe would be subject to my jurisdiction.”
Sony began legal action against Hotz and the largely anonymous hacking group fail0verflow on 11 January. Yesterday’s breakthrough in the case came on the same day as Sony released its first attempt to re-secure PS3 with firmware update 3.56, which has killed all homebrew functionality, at least temporarily.