How George Hotz, a teenager from New Jersey, kicked off a hacker war that pitted Sony against Anonymous and the group LulzSec:

That year, someone mailed Hotz a PlayStation 3 video-game system, challenging him to be the first in the world to crack it. Hotz posted his announcement online and once again set about finding the part of the system that he could manipulate into doing what he wanted. Hotz focussed on the ‘hypervisor,’ powerful software that controls what programs run on the machine.

To reach the hypervisor, he had to get past two chips called the Cell and the Cell Memory. He knew how he was going to scramble them: by connecting a wire to the memory and shooting it with pulses of voltage, just as he had when he hacked his iPhone.

“Machine Politics.” — David Kushner, The New Yorker

More #longreads from Kushner