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10 February 2011, 12:34

Sony shares PS3 master key via Twitter

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Zoom Kevin Butler: Sony's fictional character created for one of its advertising campaigns.
Source: Sony Computer Entertainment
Kevin Butler, a fictional character created for a Sony Computer Entertainment America advertising campaign and played by actor Jerry Lambert in the company's commercials, has the gift of the gab and is always up for a quick joke. However, when Twitter user exiva sent him the cryptic message "46 DC [string shortened] B2 C2 Come at me, @TheKevinButler", he obviously didn't realise that the string of hexadecimal codes was, in fact, the Playstation 3 "HMAC Dongle Master Key" which hackers have long used to jailbreak PS3 devices.

He promptly retweeted the message, complete with the full security key, to his over 70,000 followers, commenting "Lemme guess... you sank my Battleship?" Little did he seem to realise that the perceived battleship was actually the PS3, and that the quoted character string did not represent some coordinates in the "Battleship" game. While the tweet has since been deleted, it has been documented by services such as Twitpic. The Kevin Butler Twitter account is operated by Los Angeles-based advertising agency, Deutsch, who devised the character for Sony's advertising campaign.

Sony Computer Entertainment America is currently suing George Hotz and other hackers at the District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco for alleged violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Among other things, Hotz has been accused of using Twitter and similar services to share hacking instructions. Hotz has since been subject to a temporary injunction that forbids him to share information about potential ways of attacking the PS3 security system.


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