New hack allows users to run copied video games in older PlayStation 1 models

The ‘homebrew’ video game and emulator development community is one of the most active in the world of computing and technology, constantly creating new versions of well-known video games and classic consoles. This time, it is reported that a PlayStation 1 fan managed to create a hack that allows other users to run copied games on various hardware versions of this console, already considered classic.

This exploit, dubbed as “TonyHax”, was first detected in a buffer overflow present in “Create Skater” mode in the “Tony Hawk” video game series. However, the developer of this hack encountered a serious problem when first tested it: “When the game sees a character saved on the memory card, the name field will be automatically loaded to display it on the screen. When the process is complete, the name problem appears, as the length of the title is not verified.” For Marcos Del Sol, developer of the hack, this problem in loading the name can be used to load an executable into console memory.

The payload contained in the new exploit could be anything, including a homebrew video game. Moreover, the developer mentions that he decided to focus on games recorded on CD-R because he developed a simple but effective tool to unlock the optical drive of the console.

To replicate this hack, the first thing to do is to download the “tonyhax” tool and then change the authentic Tony Hawk video game disc to any copied game. The developer even mentions that it is possible to access games distributed across multiple CDs.

This weekend, the developer posted an update on his blog to help gamers interested in using his new exploit, plus a complete list of all video games compatible with the hack, including:

  • “Brunswick Circuit Pro Bowling”
  • “Brunswick Circuit Pro Bowling 2”
  • “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2”
  • “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3”
  • “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4”

What are your thoughts about the development of homebrew video games? Are you familiar with this technology? Are you willing to learn more about it? To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technology issues, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.