PlayStation 2 Independence Day

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PlayStation 2 Independence: The PS1DRV Hack

PlayStation 2 Independence Day
Friday, August 15th, 2003

Marcus R. Brown <> --

Introduction --

I have released a binary and source package that exploits a flaw in the PS2's handling of a special configuration file. This configuration file, named TITLE.DB, is accessed from the PS2 PS1 driver (located at rom0:PS1DRV).

To make a long story short, the exploit allows anyone with a memory card and a valid, legal PS1 disc to hijack the boot process and run any piece of code. Absolutely no modification to the system is necessary to use the exploit (my only working PS2 is not moddded, and I have developed and tested the exploit on this machine). All one really needs is a way to send the files to the memory card to enable the exploit.

<one pargraph gist> PS1DRV parses a file called mc0:/BXDATA-SYSTEM/TITLE.DB (the X represents the PS2's region code) to load graphic parameters for the PS1 game that was loaded from the disc drive. There is a catastrophic buffer overflow in the parsing routine that allows one to overflow the stack and execute arbitrary code by rewriting the $RA register. If we load up our own TITLE.DB, with an entry for every PS1 disc that we want to trigger the exploit, then we can take over the PS2 boot process as soon as the disc is recognized and PS1DRV is executed. </one paragraph gist>

The file exploit.c will have to serve as documentation on the exploit for now, since I've been rushing to get this out and in people's hands.

If you use PS2 Independence for Evil - I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE.

All of the distributed source code is licensed under the Academic Free License version 2.0. My copyrights _must_ remain intact if you choose to redistribute the source package.

I'm looking forward to comments/criticisms about how the code can be improved, and also creative uses for the exploit.

Using titleman --

titleman allows you to create, add, and delete title entries from the TITLE.DB file.

titleman supports to following options:

-c Create a new TITLE.DB file. -a Add a title or a list of titles to TITLE.DB. -d Delete a title or a list of titles from TITLE.DB. -l List the contents of TITLE.DB.

-v Increase verbosity level. -o Specify an output file (broken, don't use).


$ ./titleman -c # Create a new TITLE.DB $ ./titleman -a SCUS_000.67 # Add Castlevania:SOTN to TITLE.DB $ ./titleman -a @title.lst # Add a list of titles found in title.lst to # TITLE.DB (the '@' is required) $ ./titleman -d PSXMAIN.EXE # Delete 'PSXMAIN.EXE' from TITLE.DB

Format of @list files --

One title name per line. Comments are specified with ';' at the beginning of the line.


  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (one of my favorites :P)


  • Chrono Cross