No more Vita exploits?

February 14, 2013

Over the past year, we’ve seen a continuous stream of exploits releases (almost one per month since April last year), and even 2 kernel (psp) exploits. But it seems the trend has stopped, with no new major announcement on the horizon. TomTomDu80 has a psp user mode exploit, which he ported to VHBL, but most likely no plan to release it for 2.05 (or that would have happened already).

There are still many usermode exploits avaliable on the psp emulator, but it is likely that porting most of them to VHBL is either difficult or impossible. It is also possible the people with the skills to do so don’t think it’s worth it anymore. Unlocking homebrew features of the PSP emulator is fun (and it feels “clean” too, as it is definitely not impacting Sony’s major business), but I know lots of you are waiting for a native PS Vita hack, and some hackers probably feel the same.

On that front, there’s currently two major leads. One is YifanLu’s UVL (although this seems to have been on a pause for quite some time now), and SKFU’s own work which we described here. (And we still have to see this one with our own eyes). Hope is here, but there is no telling how long it will take before we see a release for any of those. In both cases, the authors put in balance the hight risk of Sony fixing the Vita’s firmware as soon as the exploit is out, which would make it mostly useless (per opposition to, for example, keeping the exploit secret and use it to investigate the console’s internals a bit more).

Sony has done a great job at securing the Vita, even though the customers are sometimes the ones who pay the price of that increased security. No system is 100% secure, but I would say we’re reaching a point where the amount of time and knowledge required to hack Sony’s consoles makes it now difficult for your typical “hobbyist” to make it through. Just like the PS3 scene got crippled by money-centric solutions, I wouldn’t be surprised if dongle types of hack surfaced one of these days for the Vita. In hindsight I don’t think this (or the PS3 dongles) has to do with hackers greediness, but we’ve reached a point where only a money-backed solution would allow devs to spend the right amount of time and energy into hacking modern devices. Not that I’m happy with this, but I think the days of simple buffer overflows, and being able to execute whatever binary we want in the ram are behind us.

Do you think we’ll see a hacking breakthrough for the vita in 2013?

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