Ummm well, that kinda depends on what you consider "cracked open". It took years to get it to boot and run something not designed to run on it. If you talk about, say, reading data on the system, that would not have taken years. Also, I have no idea how many people were working to crack PS3, I guess not that many, and the one who succeeded was some kid(no offence to smart kids, they are the ones who have time to work on things like cracking PS3 for fun) ? Just saying if the crackers had been people who had worked on such systems before the time might have been way shorter.
You know, I normally don't reply to ACs for a variety of reasons. I even have AC reply notification emails directed to
It took years for the PS3 to be a general-purpose computer, outside of the (revoked, crippled) Linux environment.
Of course, a real impetus on a game console is piracy / copyright-infringment / making trial-ware out of pay-ware / running backups instead of originals. My own PS1 has a hardware mod chip that I installed myself, not to run Linux on the thing, but to make it run whatever the fuck I feel like -- even if it is a CD-R backup of a game that I've bought.
My original Xbox had a similar mod, though it was entirely done in software/firmware.
I have a hacked PS3. It required no soldering.
And it took *years* for this to happen. By then, the space-heater/radiator systems in TFS will have been supplanted with better ones. And with the current ease with which whole-disk and end-to-end network encryption is performed, I really don't see a clear-and-present security issue for companies using such machines as back-end database servers (indeed, perhaps the most available backup DB servers they have, on average -- with abilities to go live).
The PS1 hack happened without armed guards. It simply emulated a plain-to-the-eye barcode on the disc, and since the system itself had no on-board storage that was perfectly adequate to enable it to do whatever.
The Xbox hack was a buffer overflow using a saved game (I used 007), which allowed the Pentium-based machine to do the user's bidding: It booted a custom OS upon loading of a magical save-game. (wherein save-game itself was just a thing downloaded from the internet, stubbed onto an Xbox memory card using a special windows driver and a magic USB driver, and loaded into a memory card plugged into an official Xbox controller plugged into any run-of-the-mill PC, using a cheap big-box-store Mad Catz extension cable as a USB adapter and a soldering iron and/or a crimping tool to make the mismatched connectors mate.)
Those were all quick hacks, on the order of short weeks or months, with clear and present outcomes in terms of piracy.
The PS3 hack took *years* of fuckery to establish itself, and took such tomfoolery and even decapping chips (which was as-yet largely unheard of in such circles...) to make happen. And PS3 piracy still doesn't seem to be rampant, and backups are still hard to do.
But anyway, AC, my point stands: The PS3 took years to crack, and it was a much bigger crack than just reading a MySQL DB off of an unencrypted HD, or taking control of the system that provides heat for your house (==you're getting paid for). The former is simple with physical access (and most certainly isn't something that someone would install on a server intended for in a common abode these days), the latter is readily identifiable and actionable with failure and latency heuristics.
Truecrypt, OpenVPN == win.
Good bye again, AC. And good luck for getting "free" heat from the third-party servers installed in your house if you get them to do your bidding instead of their proprietors', or of 0wning them and taking the data for yourself. The very best you'll by fucking with them will be to break them so that they generate negative revenue for yourself, as they draw power and don't generate expected results.
You're better off plugging a big resistor into the wall: I think we call these "space heaters," and there is no contract required.