Web Browsing on the PSP
Editor's Note: Don't miss Seth's other PSP articles: First Look: Sony PSP, PSP Exposed: Taking Apart the PlayStation Portable, and Adding an External Wi-Fi Antenna to Your PSP.
The PlayStation Portable is the latest handheld gaming device to hit the market. However, simply calling this a gaming system does not give the PSP the credit it deserves. Inside you will find a gaming system, movie player, music player, and image viewer. All this is enhanced by a very sharp LCD display that puts the PSP in a league of its own when compared to other handheld systems. With all these options, who would want more? Well, if you really have to ask that question, welcome to the mind of the hacker!
Since the PSP hit the US market, it has become the target for those brave enough or curious enough to peek under the cover and find out what this device can do. People have figured out how to download and view ripped movies, ebooks, PDFs, and even Tivo files. Others have found ways to peek inside the ROM update files and we even took one of the devices apart for the fun of it! However, there was one discovery that has really impacted how the PSP can be used to it's fully extent: the web browser hack. While the idea is not new (unless you count less than a week new), this article presents yet another way for you to get your PSP online and surfing web pages. Using a local proxy program and DNS spoofing, we can trick the PSP into going to a 'home' page of our choosing, from which we can then control the browser.
In addition to this, we also figured out how to create an on-screen keyboard that makes data entry very easy while surfing around online. If you have used the PSP, then you know how much of pain it can be to type anything into the screen because it uses the standard cell phone type of entry where each button can be three letters (uppercase and lowercase) or a number.
The following will provide you with a step-by-step walkthrough on how to get your own PSP browser up and running without relying on a volunteer server from the Internet. While this is not the perfect solution for every situation, it does give you a look at how the browser can be tricked into accessing your own content online.
This whole browser experience is possible because someone (not sure who really) figured out that Wipeout Pure contained a 'Download' option that connected the PSP to the ingame.scea.com site. Ironically, the downloaded webpage was nothing more than filler that told the viewer a site was 'Coming soon'. One clever guy put two and two together and figured out that if their PSP was able to download a webpage from ingame.scea.com/wipeout/index.html, then perhaps the PSP could be forced to download a page from another site.
With this idea in mind, one particular person (Roto) was able to setup a rather complex workaround that essentially tricked the PSP into believing it was connected to scea.com, but instead was actually connected to the site the user had hard coded into their DNS server. We will explain how this process works, but for now just know that Roto basically performed a DNS spoofing attack on the PSP. Regardless of how this was accomplished, we want to acknowledge the work that http://www.fumanchuu.com/pspdev/ (and others) did to get this working and spread the word. Our goal here is not to reproduce what was already done, but to simply the process so anyone with a PC, Wipeout Pure, and a network connection can surf the internet from their own PSP.