Is it possible to run hacks and cheats on hardware level on gaming consoles (xbox and PS4)?

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Rakanoth, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. Rakanoth

    Rakanoth n00b

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    I never owned a gaming console. I don't know much about them.
    In PCs, you can run whatever code or software you want on your PC. This allows you to cheat on video games, even online.
    Some people even use hardware based cheats on PCs, such as PCIeScreamer (to read or write computer memory) or Arduino boards (for aim smoothing, for example).
    But on gaming consoles, you cannot run your own code AFAIC.
    You cannot even install any hardware into the motherboard like in PCs. But you can install or replace HDD or SSD in gaming console.
    Correct me if I am wrong.

    1.) SSDs or HDDs have their own firmware. Can you tamper with this firmware to access gaming console's memory?

    2.) The memory chips and controller seem to be integrated into the motherboard on gaming consoles. Is it possible to tamper with the memory controller or memory chips? I guess it would be extremely difficult to remove them from the motherboard. I am just wondering if it is remotely possible.

    3.) Do USB devices on gaming consoles have direct memory access?
     
  2. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    The most common way I know of on consoles is to modify save game data. It's harder to do on Xbox One these days since they lock down how and where you can backup saves, but it's still possible. There are not so many restrictions on the PS4, so it's easier to do there. Memory pointers are specific to the game, so it's just a matter of dereferencing them to see what they're pointing to and exploiting client-side calculations and updates. Reverse engineering save games from consoles isn't any different than other types of software. Don't forget that there are also devkits out there in the wild that make this process much easier.

    USB firmware may be becoming more common as both manufacturers are opening consoles to more devices, but I'm not sure what is out there right now. Up until the most current console generation rootkits and modchips were extremely common and are still used to this day in games like Modern Warfare 2. I am not aware of any rootkits or modchips that work on the current console generation, but then again I don't actively look for those things.
     
  3. scojer

    scojer 2[H]4U

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    Rakanoth likes this.
  4. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ard as it Gets

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    Makes me miss the days of the Game Genie and 1/2 the NES/Genesis library having built-in cheats. I think online competition and achievements killed those concepts.
     
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  5. Rakanoth

    Rakanoth n00b

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    Thanks a lot for the link. And, no, I am not a cheater. I am interested in learning what avenues for cheating is available. It is only curiosity.
     
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  6. ZeqOBpf6

    ZeqOBpf6 Gawd

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    The term "trainers" might be what you're looking for. I've used them before and they're great.
     
  7. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Anything is hackable, anything there is always a way to cheat. But the problem is how much investment do you have to make in it and how much payout do you get. For instance with packet editing you pretty much need a coimputer, and to most thats a very expensvie cheat to buy a whole computer just to cheat. The main problem with making cheats for consoles is there exists a higher probability that the hardware will get banned and the far less tech savvy user will lose use of it and never regain that use. First of all I want to say that I would bet money that there exists some underground cheats that work on consoles. However they are not advertised and are likely only sold to a tight nit group of people. This is how cheats for pro gaming work on the PC. Its how a bunch of people were actually cheating during counterstrike pro LAN events. Someone figures out how to cheat in a way that can get you past a more stringent system and they only sell it for high prices to high end buyers. These high end buyers are probably rarer on console now days given that most high end competition has moved to PC.

    Now I would propose something else. Why run hacks in the current method? Why not skip all of that and go with a method that is completely independent of hardware? I think a new era of cheating is coming down the line soon. This will work on anything including consoles, some device will use machine learning or other methods combined with image recognition to aim for you by looking at the video output or even looking directly at the monitor / TV a high speed video camera could do this.It will then aim for you and even fire for you. This will be completely undetectable by typical software detection systems. Once this happens the only way to catch cheaters will be through aim movement pattern recognition or manual review. It is only a matter of time before you can go to ebay and buy a small piece of hardware that lets you do this IMO. Image recognition is getting good fast and so is automation. There are alot of ways you can envision this being put together.