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Did Microsoft Offer PS3 Hacker Win7 Phone To Thwart Piracy?

By 21 January 2011 One Comment

Everyone knows the infamous George Hotz.  If you don’t, you can refresh your memory here:

Hotz is obviously a fairly smart guy, and has been able to figure out how to exploit some of the top hardware on the market over the last several years.  Don’t forget that last years Playstation 3 hack, and this years PS3 fail overflow hack, which has rendered some PS3 online games inept due to hacks and cheating, was not his first claim to fame.  Hotz was also responsible for hacking the iPhone in 2007 at 17 years old, jailbreaking it to open it up to other carriers.

So as the old saying goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”.  Which is pretty much what Microsoft has decided to do.  Instead of waiting for the inevitable, and then filing a suit, Microsoft has offered Hotz a Windows 7 Phone and asked him to “develop” for it.

Brandon Watson, a developer for Microsoft tweeted to Hotz:

It certainly is possible that Microsoft is genuinely asking Hotz to develop some application for them, possibly a security app.  It’s also possible that the move is simply PR.  On the other hand, it may be a brilliant play in which Microsoft is inviting, and surely privately, Hotz to find the phones weaknesses.  In computer security, this would absolutely not be the first time in which a company asked a “Black Hat” to show them what they are doing wrong and explain to them how to make it better.  And to top it off, if this is the case, it would also go a long way to confront potential piracy on Windows 7 phones from the start, and potentially bring the hacker community in line with Windows phones.

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