Sony seeks to ID fail0verflow PS3 hackers

Electronics giant subpoenas Google, Twitter, PayPal, more for information that can be used to identify console's jailbreak contributors.


Last month, Sony unleashed its legal department on George Hotz and the fail0verflow group, better known as the hacking consortium, which released security keys allowing people to run unauthorized software on their consoles. Thus far, that investigation has largely centered upon Hotz, who has been ordered by the court to forfeit his computers, hard drives, and other storage material to Sony's legal team in the interest of discovery.

The PS3 remains an open platform…for now.
The PS3 remains an open platform…for now.

Now, Sony is seeking to expand its search for incriminating information by compelling a number of high-profile websites to hand over any identifying information they may have for members of fail0verflow. Specifically, Sony is seeking identifying information for the individuals who operate under the usernames hermesEOL, kakaroto, kmeaw, waninkoko, and grafchokolo, bushing, and segher. Hector Cantero and Sven Peter, also known as Cantero and Peter, are also named in the motion.

The websites subpoenaed for information include a variety of familiar names, such as Google, Twitter, PayPal, and YouTube. Other websites and companies that Sony is seeking information from include Bluehost, SoftLayer Technologies, Geeknet, Kickstarter, and Github. Of course, Sony is also requesting that Hotz himself turn over any information he has that can be used to identify the aforementioned individuals.

"Google, Inc. is directed to furnish all documents, including electronically stored information, in its possession, custody or control," reads the subpoena issued to Google. "As to any portion of any request that refers to documents that Google, Inc. is aware of which were at one time within its possession, custody or control, but which are not now within or subject to its possession, custody or control, Google, Inc. is directed to identify such documents in a manner sufficient to describe such documents for the purpose of preparing and serving a proper subpoena duces tecum and to give the name, telephone number, and address of the person last known by Google, Inc. to have been in possession, custody or control of such documents."

The subpoena also commands Google to turn over all documents "sufficient to identify all names; addresses, and telephone numbers" associated with the offending account, in this case The information request also extends to "all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records, and application or registration forms."

As part of its filings, Sony has also petitioned the court to expedite the discovery phase. That motion is expected to be heard later this week.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 662 comments about this story