[cryptography] Alleged recovery of PS3 ECDSA private key from signatures

Jonathan Thornburg jthorn at astro.indiana.edu
Thu Dec 30 16:14:09 EST 2010

On Fri, 31 Dec 2010, Peter Gutmann wrote:
> The whole talk (in three parts) is fascinating viewing, particularly the
> summary of jailbreaking of embedded devices:
> - Pretty much all of the (public) jailbreaks were to get Linux or other 
> software onto the device, not for piracy.
> - All the devices were hacked in anything from one week to twelve months (the
> record, for the Xbox360).
> - Most of them used crypto, and AFAICT in none of them was the crypto directly 
> broken (Shamir's Law, crypto is bypassed not attacked).

I completely agree with Peter's general points, but there is at least
one jailbreak where the crypto was directly broken: the TI-83 series
of graphing calculators.  The jailbreakers used a distributed factoring
project to factor the 512-bit RSA keys burnt into the calculators' ROMs.
(I think this counts as "breaking the crypto".)

-- "Jonathan Thornburg [remove -animal to reply]" <jthorn at astro.indiana-zebra.edu>
   Dept of Astronomy, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
   "Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the
    powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."
                                      -- quote by Freire / poster by Oxfam

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