Status update on the PS3 4.0 HEN

Here’s a “quick” status update on the 4.00 HEN (Homebrew ENabler) for PS3.

Following my clarifications from almost 2 months ago here, there has been a lot of progress. We have not been slacking off, we’re a group of about 10 developers working together for the last 2 months, for sometimes 15 hours everyday in order to bring back homebrew support to the latest version of the PS3.

There are three major parts to the HEN, first, getting the packages to install on the PS3, that part is done, completed, tested, debugged, etc.. the second part is to get the apps to run, that one still has major issues… the last part is something I will not discuss for now (it’s a surprise) but it’s about 60% to 70% done (and it has nothing to do with peek&poke and has nothing to do with backup managers or anything like that. This is and will stay a piracy-free solution for the PS3).

Now, running apps is the biggest challenge that we’ve been working on for the past 2 months. As some of you know, if you’ve been following me on Twitter, we originally had hoped for Mathieulh to give us the “npdrm hash algorithm” that was necessary to run the apps, but he was reluctant, he kept doing his usual whore so people would kiss his feet (or something else) so he’d feel good about himself. But in the end, he said that he refuses to give us the needed “npdrm hash algorithm” to make it work… So what I initially thought would be “this will be released next week” ended up taking a lot more time than expected, and we’re still nowhere near ready to make it work.

Mathieulh kept tossing his usual “riddles” which he thinks are “very helpful for those who have a brain”, and which pisses off anyone who actually does… so he told us that the solution to all our problems was to look in appldr of the 3.56 firmware.. and that it was something lv1 was sending appldr which made the “hash check” verified or not… so we spent one month and a lot of sweat and after killing a few of our brain cells out of exhaustion, we finally concluded that it was all bullshit. After one month of reading assembly code and checking and double-checking our results, we finally were able to confirm that that hash algorithm was NOT in the 3.56 firmware like he told us (at all).

He said  that it was an AES OMAC hash, but after tracking all the uses of the OMAC functions in appldr, we found that it was not used for the “hash”…  he then said “oh, I meant HMAC“, so we do that again and again come up with the same conclusion, then we’re sure it’s not in appldr, and then he says “ah no, it’s in lv1“.. have a look for yourself to what he decided to write :

That happened after the huge twitter fight I had with him for being his usual arrogant ass and claiming that he “shared” something (For your information, the code that he shared was not his own, I have proof of that too (can’t show you the proof because even if I don’t respect him, I gave him my word to not share what he gave me, and I respect my word) since he forgot to remove the name of the original developer from one of the files… also it was completely useless and was not used at all, just made me waste a day reading the crappy undocumented code. So why is he still trying to force his “advice” through these riddles even after we had that fight? Well to sabotage us and make us lose all those months of hard work!

So anyways, we had all accepted that Mathieulh was full of shit (we knew before, but we gave him the benefit of the doubt) and decided to continue working without considering any of his useless riddles. So we then tried to exploit/decrypt the 3.60+ firmware in order to get the algorithm from there.

Now, a few more weeks later, we finally have succeeded in fully understanding that missing piece from the “npdrm hash algorithm”,  and here it is for everyone’s pleasure with some prerequisite explanation :

A game on the PS3 is an executable file in a format called a “SELF“file (kind of like .exe on windows), those “self” files are cryptographically signed and encrypted.. For PSN games (games that do not run from a bluray disc), they need to have an additional security layer called “NPDRM”. So a “npdrm self” is basically an executable that is encrypted and signed, then re-encrypetd again with some additional information. On 3.55 and lower, we were able to encrypt and sign our own self files so they would look like original (made by sony) “npdrm self” files, and the PS3 would run them without problem. However, it wasn’t really like an original file.. a real NPDRM self file had some additional information that the PS3 simply ignored, it did not check for that information, so we could put anything in it, and it worked. Since the 3.60 version, the PS3 now also validates this additional information, so it can now differentiate between NPDRM self files created by sony and the ones that we create ourselves for homebrew. That’s the “npdrm hash algorithm” that we have been trying to figure out, because once we can duplicate that information in the proper manner, then the PS3 will again think that those files are authentic and will let us play them.

Another important point to explain, I said a few times that the files are “signed”.. this means that there is an “ECDSA signature” in the file which the PS3 can verify. The ECDSA signature is something that allows the PS3 to verify if the file has been modified or not.. it is easy to validate the signature, but impossible to create one without having access to the “private keys” (think of it like a real signature, you can see your dad’s signature and recognize it, but you can’t sign it exactly like him, and you can recognize if your brother tried to forge his signature). So how were we able to sign the self files that were properly authenticated on 3.55? That’s because this “ECDSA signature” is just a very complicated mathematical equation (my head still hurts trying to fully understand it, but I might blog about it in the future and try to explain it in simple terms if people are interested you can learn about it here), and one very important part of this mathematical equation is that you need to use a random number to generate the signature, but Sony had failed and used the same number every time.. by doing that, it was easy to just find the private key (which allows us to forge perfectly the signature) by doing some mathematical equation on it. So to summarize, a “signed file” is a file which is digitally signed with an “ECDSA signature” that cannot be forged, unless you have the “private key” for it, which is impossible to obtain usually, but we were able to obtain it because Sony failed in implementing it properly.

Now, back on topic.. so what is this missing “npdrm hash algorithm” that we need? well it turns out that the “npdrm self” has a second signature, so it’s a “encrypted and signed self file” with an additional layer of security (the NPDRM layer) which re-encrypts it and re-signs it again. That second signature was not verified in 3.55 and is now verified since the 3.60 version of the PS3 firmware.

One important thing to note is that Sony did NOT make the same mistake with this signature, they always used a random number, so it it technically impossible to figure out the private key for it. To be more exact, this is the exact same case as the .pkg packages you install on the PS3, you need to patch the firmware (making it cfw) so that those .pkg files can be installed, and that’s because the .pkg files are signed with an ECDSA signature for which no one was able to get the private key. That’s why we call them “pseudo-retail packages” or “unsigned packages”.

The signature on the NPDRM self file uses the exact same ECDSA curve and the same key as the one used in PS3 .pkg files, so no one has (or could have) the private key for it. What this means is that, even though we finally figured out the missing piece and we now know how the NPDRM self is built, we simply cannot duplicate it.

The reason we wasted 2 months on this is because Mathieulh lied by saying that he can do it.. remember when the 4.0 was out and I said “I can confirm that my method still works” then he also confirmed that his “npdrm hash algorithm” still works too? well he didn’t do anything to confirm, he just lied about it because there is no way that he could have verified it because he doesn’t have the private key.

I said I will provide proof of the lies that Mathieulh gave us, so here they are : he said it’s in 3.56, that was a lie, he said it’s an AES OMAC, that was a lie,  he said it’s an HMAC, that was a lie, he said it’s in appldr, that was a lie, he said it’s in lv1, that was a lie, he said that he can do it, that was a lie, he said that “it takes one hour to figure it out if you have a brain”, that was a lie, he said that he verified it to work on 4.0, that was a lie, he said that he had the algorithm/keys, that was a lie, he said that once we know the algorithm used, we can reproduce it, that was a lie, he kept referring to it as “the hash”, that was wrong. The proof ? It’s an ECDSA signature, it’s not a hash (two very different terms for different things), it was verified by vsh.self, it was not in lv2, or lv1, or appldr, and the private key is unaccessible, so there is no way he could build his own npdrm self files. Now you know the real reason why he refused to “share” what he had.. it’s because he didn’t have it…

So why do all this? was it because his arrogance didn’t allow him to admit not knowing something? or was it because he wanted to make us lose all this time? To me, it looks like pure sabotage, it was misleading information to steer us away from the real part of the code that holds the solution…. That is of course, if we are kind enough to assume that he knew what/where it was in the first place.  In the end, he wasn’t smart enough to only lie about things that we could not verify.. now we know (we always knew, but now we have proof to back it) that he’s a liar, and I do not think that anyone will believe his lies anymore.


Enough talking about liars and drama queens, back to the 4.0 HEN solution… so what next? well, we now know that we can’t sign the file, so we can’t run our apps on 3.60+ (it can work on 3.56 though). What we will do is look for a different way, a completely new exploit that would allow the files we install to actual run on the PS3. We will also be looking for possible “signature collisions” and for that we will need the help of the community, hopefully there is a collision (same random number used twice) which will allow us to calculate the private key, and if that happens, then we can move forward with a release.

When will the “jailbreak” be released? If I knew, I’d tell you, but I don’t know.. I would have said in last november, then december, then before christmas, then before new year, etc… but as you can see, it’s impossible to predict what we will find.. we might get lucky and have it ready in a couple of days, or we may not and it will not be ready for another couple of months.. so all you need to do is : BE PATIENT (and please stop asking me about an estimated release date)!

I would like to thank the team who helped on this task for all this time and who never got discouraged, and I’d like to thank an anonymous contributor who recently joined us and who was instrumental in figuring it all out. We all believe that freedom starts with knowledge, and that knowledge should be open and available to all, that is why we are sharing this information with the world. We got the confirmation (by finding the public key used and verifying the signatures) yesterday and since sharing this information will not help Sony in any way to block our efforts in a future release, we have decided to share it with you.  We believe in transparency, we believe in openness, we believe in a free world, and we want you to be part of it.

If you want to know more about this ECDSA signature algorithm, I tried to explain it in a blog post here, also, you can read this interesting paper that explains it in detail, and you can also watch Team Fail0verflow’s CCC presentation that first explained Sony’s mistake in their implementation, which made custom firmwares possible.


Thanks for reading,



297 thoughts on “Status update on the PS3 4.0 HEN

  1. I won’t ask you the estimated release date, because I know you have been working on it.I use the Chinese New Year way to give you a blessing.

  2. merci beaucoup pour votre travail sur la ps3
    continué bon courage à tous et merci encore.
    ne prenez pas en compte les commentaires des gens qui vous critiques car la plus part du temps ils ne comprennent rien au hack.
    bonne continuation.

  3. Glad to see more hope towards a freed 4.0 console. Keep up the good work. You and your team have contributed alot to the community, so here’s hoping we have homebrew and backups available for 3.60+ consoles without the need for mail-order hardware. Kudos.

  4. Bravo pour votre travail.good luck.
    Si je le pouvais je vous aiderais.
    Je suis de tout coeur avec vous. 🙂

  5. Thanks Kakaroto for your job.
    I dont understand what’s happened with MathieuLh.
    I hope he will return to more reasonable sentiments.
    sharply the release.

    • hats off to u kakaroto praying the jb 4.0 comes out fast
      thanks in advance for your hardwork

    • Can you read? this is what it says!!!!

      BE PATIENT (and please stop asking me about an estimated release date)!

  6. Appreciate you’ve liked to share hen’s status.I know it’s a hard work but don’t give up.We’re all with you 😉

    P.S.It’s my first comment XD

  7. Obrigada por todo trabalho que tem tido para a hen 4.0. Eu sei que voce vai conseguir, eu confio e acredito em voce

    “Thanks for all the work that has been for you to make hen 4.0. I know you can do it, I trust and believe in you”

  8. Obrigada por dar esperanças para nos do mundo todo, seu trabalho é realmente muito bom.
    Vamos aguardar anciosamente por esta destrave que “Ala” os abençõe.
    São José do Rio Preto-SP-Brasil

  9. @KakaRoTo I appreciate everything you have done and I will ask you to share with us those two the same random number Sony used. One more thing one of my friend mentioned to me method called something like “time attack”, he heard something about that during last year!

  10. thanx man, because of u i still have hope in th scene, just take the time u need, thanx, i’ll wait for u
    semper fi

  11. Gute Arbeit muss echt sagen freu mich schon wenn es fertig ist. Und ein Großes lob an das Team 15 Stunden Arbeit am Tag ist echt sehr viel….

    …Greetings from Germany…

  12. great work cant wait for 4.0 cfw but take you time you need to make it work right also i was wondering is there a way to install pkg file to cheat on games on 4.0

  13. Hello!
    I love so much PS3,
    Please, share jailbreak 4.0 with us.
    God bless your inteligence.
    Robson Rio Brasil

  14. Gracias por todo el trabajo duro que haces, Gracias!! Por personas como tu es que todavia creo en la Scene. No importa cuanto te tome terminar estare esperando ese release.

    From Dominican Republic

  15. I wish i could help you
    i study in computer engineering in Egypt
    i am good at coding specially c#
    near to good in crypto
    very very good in assembling
    but my weak point is that i didn’t start to jailbreak anything or even know how to start it
    i hope you could contact me or help me in starting my own jailbreak so i can help you
    i also have a lot of free time and wasted time i can surely spend it with pleasure with you
    Thanks in advance

  16. Holy cow Batman Mathieulh is full of shit – really?

    Good work KaKaRoTo stick with it kid!!

  17. Ppl like you makes me crazy interested in programing .. and in persuing knowlege
    keep inspiring .. keep working becouse you like it .. and for the sake of freedum
    thnx for all the temendously hard work .. you and your team
    Greetings from the yet to be freed Egypt

  18. Thanks Kakaroto for all the good work you’ve been doing. We all appreciate your work. Keep the good work and I wish you good luck. And another thing, ignore all those fuckers that say that your work is a shit.

  19. Congratulations thank you on behalf of Brazil for his fine work you and your team has opened doors that no plane coming straight on to continue with their good work continue.

  20. Obrigado pelo seu empenho!!
    Admiramos muito seu trabalho e acreditamos em seus resultados.
    São as opiniões dos usuários PS3 no Brasil!!!

    Thank you for your commitment!
    We Much admire their work and believe in their results.
    This are the opinions of PS3 users in Brazil!

  21. Keep up the good work! I wish I could help, but I’m not a jailbreaker :(.

    But otherwise, really freaking awesome job. Are those other 4.00 jailbreaks out there fake?

  22. I always have though that Math is a jerk till I saw you dealing with him. Now. my thoughts are proven.

    It is very nice that this scene has some people who believe in their work and go on with all this obstacles by someone they trusted.

    Keep it up Kakaroto, we, the Arab people, are very proud of you 🙂

    • Some CFW is better than none…… lay off bud. PSP had the same problem. 90% of the people using M33 said “HEN SUCKS”

      Once there was no more M33 they complained and moaned forever but eventualy shut the fuck up and moved on.

      I suggest you shut the fuck up and move on also. The PSP hacking scene died because of people like you. I know nothing about PS3 hacking, but I want to learn and I support those who are the making it possible.

      IF you want a certian CFW make it. I almost guarantee you know shit making it. So lay off please so others can enjoy. Don’t go to someone’s blog and rant that you don’t want them to make it. Go learn and make a cfw! maybe you’ll make something of yourself……

  23. I want to congratulate the work he is doing. Congratulations! I am Brazilian, and I hope you get this job done as quickly as possible. 😀
    We love you!

  24. Hi,

    I would like to appreciate you for the kind of struggle that you r going through man…

    Really u guys are awesome…. developing such programs is not at all an easy job…

  25. Good luck and thanks for your work.
    thanks to have some peaple like you to work on hacking PS3

  26. I would like to thank you for donating their time and all this in a project team consisting of freedom! For many Brazilians, Ukrainians, Mexicans, Russians, French, etc., without conditions… Thank you!

  27. I would HELP you guys so much but, I don’t know so much about Hacking.
    Thanks for working at JAILBREAK 4.0 ,I would help u guys so much if i
    could but i live in AUSTRIA.

  28. Thank you Kakaroto and your team for all the hard work, and good luck finding a way to make the apps run.

  29. Dude, just keep going on. You’re one of the best on this scene, but now stop talking about MathieuLH, just ignor him

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