PlayStation 3 Jailbreak

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USB dongle for PlayStation to jailbreak the system.
A PS Jailbreak USB dongle

PlayStation 3 Jailbreak was the first USB (Universal Serial Bus) chipset that allowed unauthorized execution of code, similar to homebrew, on the PlayStation 3. It works by bypassing a system security check using a memory exploit (heap overflow) which occurs with USB devices that allows the execution of unsigned code.


The underlying exploit and inner workings of the PS3 Jailbreak have been entirely reverse engineered[1] and reimplemented through the open source PSGroove.[2]

Through analysis of USB traffic to and from the PS3 Jailbreak, it was found that the device induced a heap overflow in kernel-space memory to trigger execution of untrusted code.[1]


Sony had taken a few steps to prevent the jailbreak of the PlayStation 3, and has associated the action as a form of copyright infringement. In eastern European countries, no action has ever been taken to condemn such cases.

The cases listed below are lawsuits Sony filed in courts to prohibit the sales and imports of circumvention devices that would jailbreak the system.

  • PS3 Jailbreak was outlawed in Australia as it was considered to be in violation of copyright law. The ban states that PS Jailbreak cannot be imported, distributed to another person or offered to the public.[3]
  • Sony lost a lawsuit in December 2010 in Barcelona against the seller of PS Jailbreak. The sales and imports of the product were therefore deemed legal to use within Spain, and Sony were ordered to pay damages for trying to block the sales and imports.[4]
  • In January 2011, Sony had filed a lawsuit against George Hotz for leaking the encryption keys for the PlayStation 3. The case was settled in April of that year, where Hotz agreed to a permanent injunction to never circumvent a Sony product again.[5] The Court had also approved that Sony's lawyers could obtain the IP addresses of anyone who visited Hotz's website.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "PSJailbreak Exploit Payload Reverse Engineering - PS3 Developer wiki". Retrieved August 8, 2023.
  2. ^ "PSGroove - PS3 Developer wiki". Retrieved August 8, 2023.
  3. ^ "PS3 Modchipserritories like the US, Europe, and Asia to block its sale. Suits are filed against retailers selling the device".
  4. ^ Mark_Raby (December 18, 2010). "Powned: Sony ordered to pay restitution to PS Jailbreak seller in Spain". gamesradar. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  5. ^ "Sony and Hotz settle hacking case". BBC News. April 12, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  6. ^ Kravets, David. "Judge Lets Sony Unmask Visitors to PS3-Jailbreaking Site". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved November 14, 2021.