Sony 'sought security tips' from PS3 hacker Hotz

Sony 'sought security tips' from PS3 hacker Hotz

By Rob Crossley

May 1st 2012 at 10:59AM

Company held 'respectful' meeting with the rebellious coder

Engineers at Sony Computer Entertainment invited George Hotz, the infamous PS3 hacker, to its US publishing headquarters in California to discuss system security, according to a new report.

Sony, which filed a lawsuit against Hotz in January 2011, met with the young hacker four months later, in May, to discuss how he broke past well-protected PS3 security technologies.

In the intervening months between the lawsuit and the “respectful” meeting, Sony had compromised about 105 million PSN and SOE accounts following an abysmal security failure that was exploited by an unknown hacker.

The two hacking incidents are not thought to be directly linked, though Anonymous – the online group suspected to be responsible for the PSN and SOE hacks – had previously declared it was attacking Sony executives and security in response to the firm’s lawsuit against Hotz.

Sony said it invited Hotz to its Foster City headquarters because the firm is “always interested in exploring all avenues to better safeguard our systems and protect consumers”.

According to an account of the meeting, published in The New Yorker, Hotz had “found a roomful of PS3 engineers who were ‘respectful’, he said, and wanted to learn more about how he had beaten their system”.

Hotz told the publication: “If there were going to be lawyers there. I was going to be the biggest asshole ever.”

The young PS3 hacker, thought to be the first person to have broken into an iPhone, has worked at both Google and Facebook due to his coding skills, though he left both companies before completing a year of employment.