Saturday, November 26, 2005

Back to Geek: XBox 360 Linux Hack?

The chaps at Microsoft (or Micro$hit as some of you prefer) have been busy securing their XBox360; which the Free60 Project aims to crack and port an open operating system to (Linux, Darwin, BSD come to mind), so far they've gathered a lot of useful and detailed information on the inner workings of the XBox360, which seems to be seured down by:
  • The flash is encrypted with a per-box key
  • The key is stored inside the CPU
  • The boot ROM is stored inside the CPU
  • Also inside the CPU is a hypervisor that verifies the running state of the kernel, making sure there is no modification (RAM checksums), else the Xbox360 panics and blows up!
  • The CPU contains ROM inside of it to store the checksums
  • All interrupt/exception handling is done by the hypervisor
  • All code runs in kernel mode
  • The emulator for first generation games can be updated via an official Microsoft download burned to CD by the user, though the CDs’ content will be encrypted and signed with public key cryptography.The boot ROM is stored inside the CPU
This will be an interesting project to watch over the next couple of months. The XBox360 will make a rather handsome tripple core server. I'm positive, impenetrable as it may seem, some rather geekish bloke will be able to circumvent this, as they did with OSx86. I'm betting apple will use the same technology to protect against Mac OS X for intel running on regular PCs [read more] On a side note, Sony will demonstrate their PS3 at CES 2006

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