Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th Mar 2011 22:30 UTC
Legal Yesterday, we linked to a story about the most recent allegations Sony made against George 'GeoHot' Hotz in their ongoing court case. Supposedly, Hotz has sabotaged the hardware he had to hand over, and he had fled the country to further stifle the court case, among other things. Hotz' lawyer, as well as Hotz himself, have responded to these allegations. The gist? They're all nonsense.
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Comment by thebluesgnr
by thebluesgnr on Thu 24th Mar 2011 23:06 UTC
Member since:

Well, it was the neutral party and not SCEA that accused Hotz of delivering tampered/incomplete hard drives. SCEA used the letters between the neutral party and Hotz's lawyers to file a complaint.

Then when asked for those parts Hotz's lawyers informed the neutral party that they could not provide them because Hotz was not in the country. Of course, after all the negativity that ensued the parts showed up and were delivered to the neutral party.

The e-mail exchange between the lawyers and the neutral party:

From: Michael Grennier [redacted email address]
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:56 AM
To: Stewart Kellar; Gaudreau, Holly
Cc: Robert Kleeger; Yasha Heidari; Boroumand Smith, Mehrnaz; Bricker, Ryan; Jack C. Praetzellis;
[redacted email address][redacted email address]

Subject: Imaging of encrypted drives. CRM:0003005

We took the drives out of our evidence locker and the evidence bag to image them in their current encrypted state
as stated in the order and agreed to on our phone call yesterday. We have determined that the controller cards
which are screwed onto the hard drives were removed prior to them being given to us. Therefore we are unable
to operate the hard drives in their current state. Keep in mind that we need two days to image these drives as we
have to image two 1TB drives.

I would recommend that Mr. Hotz forward to us immediately both the hard drive controller cards, screws and
anything else he may have including the complete computer system (minus the monitor, keyboard and mouse) so
that we can be prepared to complete the forensic imaging process (both encrypted and un-encrypted).
The drives have been returned to the evidence bag and locker at this time.



Michael Grennier, CFCE, EnCE


Your concerns are completely unfounded. To the contrary, Mr. Hotz has gone above and beyond what he has been required to do. Mr. Hotz was ordered to provide his hard drives and storage devices on which any circumvention devices were stored-- nothing more. As your co-counsel is aware, Mr. Hotz is currently out of the country, so your unilateral demand to have him provide the controllers by noon tomorrow is not only unreasonable, but simply not possible. No explanation is necessary as Mr. Hotz fully complied with the terms of the Court's order.

Best regards, Yasha


Yasha Heidari

Edited 2011-03-24 23:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by thebluesgnr
by toast88 on Fri 25th Mar 2011 10:30 in reply to "Comment by thebluesgnr"
toast88 Member since:

We have determined that the controller cards
which are screwed onto the hard drives were removed prior to them being given to us. Therefore we are unable
to operate the hard drives in their current state.


The 'components' SCEA is talking about are hard drives' controller cards. The neutral [third party examining the drives] subsequently had to explain to SCEA the form and function of hard drive controller cards," Kellar explained to Ars, "It is a stock part that can be purchased at any electronics hardware store. Those controller cards have since been provided to the neutral so the point is moot."

Anyone realizing that we are talking about totally distinct pieces of electronics? The complaint about the sabotaged hard drives is _clearly_ talking about the controller circuits which are mounted onto the hard drives. Those are totally different to any external controller cards which plug into the PCI/PCI Express slots of a PC and _cannot_ be purchased at any electronics hardware store.

And I, while I support Geohot in his arguments against Sony regarding the overall process, have to admit that unless the neutral investigators are not making false statements here and the controller circuit boards have been removed from the hard drives, then Geohot has clearly sabotaged the hardware as it not possible to read out the hard drives in such a state unless you are working at a forensic data company like OnTrack and obviously no hard drives are sold without these controller circuit boards.

One has to be very careful to listen to the arguments of both parties and scrutinize the facts as both parties are obviously fighting with unfair weapons.


Edited 2011-03-25 10:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by thebluesgnr
by looncraz on Sat 26th Mar 2011 06:50 in reply to "RE: Comment by thebluesgnr"
looncraz Member since:

I believe the device in question is not the hard drive boards, but external encryption devices.

Something akin to the following:

(linked merely because it was the first result - I'm lazy... ).

From all the comments, this appears to be the case.

The e-mail from the neutral seems to indicate that they are able to access the data, but it is encrypted and they need a compatible controller card to decrypt the data.

Which is exactly what I would do if they wanted my hard drives ;-) ( though, they would have a much harder time imaging my hard drive collection... I have 8 or more, I dunno, and a drawer FULL of others.... maybe 30-40 drives... all with data... ).

I rotate :-)

--The loon

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by thebluesgnr
by gerg on Tue 29th Mar 2011 16:55 in reply to "Comment by thebluesgnr"
gerg Member since:

Sounds like the accusations are very well founded. Furthermore, it does sound like he fled the country specifically to impede progress. Furthermore, it clearly implies he's made effort to obstruct the investigation or at worse, destroyed evidence.

Reply Parent Score: 1