SKFU got his hands on a Vita devkit…says it has vulnerabilities that could help hacking it

November 17, 2012

Following up to the news on SKFU, some additional information has been discovered with what could be the very first public glimpse at a developer model PlayStation Vita.

If you just currently read Wololo’s article about SKFU and his progress on Vita hacking then you would know there wasn’t a lot of confirmation on things, until now. It appears that SKFU has successfully got his hands on a PlayStation Dev Kit, and that might be how he made progress on his hacking research.

After some extensive research it was discovered (thanks to reader Maccle!) that he does indeed have a dev kit. SKFU posted a thread over at Assembler Games trying to sell his dev kit for unknown reasons, however, giving out some surprising information.

“So, what might it be worth to collectors?

A bit background information about PS VITA DevKits:

The official SONY price for devkit models which are sent to third party developers is 1.900€.

There is no fix price for internal models known.

The prices you are going to submit are for an internal model based on newest hardware revision.

Surprise me :)

SKFU went as far as posting clear images of the top and back sides of this “new model”. Developers do get access to hardware better than the normal Vita with usually double the RAM, but it’s possible other upgrades and enhancements exist in those Vitas. In particular, the pictures give us some good insight of what a developer device looks like compared to the normal consumer Vita. The pictures show noticeable physical changes such as matte buttons, a USB port (2.0 for Faster transfer?) and a HDMI port. This dev Vita is dubbed the “Vita PDEL-1001″ which is supposedly ” the first one in the wild.” Definitely some exciting discoveries here.

Notice the addition of a “real” mini USB port and an HDMI port

Compared to the retail version under it

However, that’s not the only information that was revealed when one user asked about the every 90 day activation of the dev kit Vita license that has to be done to keep the developer special features working. SKFU responded with the following information on the subject…

“Partly correct. the activation is just required to run unsigned self’s.

all other functions are fully active like any pc tool to connect or mess with, debugging functions, file system access etc etc.

running unsigned selfs can be achieved other way. aswell there’s several vulnerabilities in devkits up to newest firmwares which
might lead to bypass the activation soon :)

It seems that not only has SKFU gotten into the Vita’s OS with full access but he has also found exploits within the dev kit firmware. This is huge news as it could mean we are closing in on more developments towards a Vita exploit. SKFU has not made any other type of public announcement regarding such so that could mean he is holding on to it for a later date or still working.

It is still unclear at this point if he used a regular developer license (in association with the devkit) to get access to the information he posted last week in his blog (as implied by some of you in our comments section, some tools made available to developers by Sony could allow to read what’s on the Vita Stick without a need for any hack)

This is a huge discovery and definitely one that will be constantly developing, so stay tuned. One other question that needs to be answered is, why would SKFU need to sell this unit, if he’s making progress with it?

What do you think about this? Are you ready for a Vita hack? Let me know in the comments!

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