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OGXbox Admin

Glossary of Terms

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In Xbox modding, there are some terms used and people seem to get confused on them. 

One of the most common is: "You have to softmod to TSOP flash"
No you do not. 

The confusion is over what an exploit is and what a softmod is. An exploit is required to run the softmod, but they are not the same thing. 


The exploit is a buffer overflow or some other sort of attack that can be done on the unmodified software, to make it run unsigned code. Since each application still has to pass the checks that the retail bios runs on it, we have to sign each application. Therefore, practically speaking we can only run 1 application per exploit. So, we just sign the flashing software for the exploit, run the exploit and it loads the flashing software. We flash the TSOP and away we go. No more need for exploits, softmods, or locked hdds. 

The softmod is running an exploit at boot and specifically replacing the stock bios in memory with a boot from media bios. This causes the unmodified system to operate from this point on (until it is powered off) exactly like a hardware modified console. 

So we can see, to TSOP flash we only need to run a flashing program. So we don't need to softmod. We only need an exploit.

Next would be TSOP and EEPROM. 
The TSOP is an EEPROM but not THE eeprom.
Bunnie called the 8 pin chip that stores the serial, hdd key, online key, etc the "eeprom".
He called the EEPROM that contains the bios, the "TSOP" because he couldn't very well call that an eeprom as well. Imagine the confusion!
TSOP just means "Thin Small Outline Package". This name basically describes fact that it's a non-square rectangle with the pins on two sides.

I'll add more as I think of them.

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Just want to point out, that’s not strictly true.

softmod = software modification 

so any exploit that is used to load another executable is classed as a softmod. The exploit patches the kernel in memory to allow a specific calculated key to be used to sign xbe files ( habibi ) exactly what the NDURE exploit does.

so you have to softmod to TSOP. You don’t have to install NKPatcher or dashboards eg...

 

What you are thinking, is the softmod is NKPatcher or a BFM bios, these are loaded after the softmod has accrued. In this day and ages that would be NDURE, it’s only purpose is to patch the public key and set the time to fix Error16 clock issues and load a specific xbe file that’s signed with the new habibi public key. In the case of newer softmod that’s NKPatcher that’s loaded, this then patches the kernel in memory to allow other features, but isn’t required to run habibi signed xbe files.

Also it’s not run at boot but at the launch of the MSDash, this is how original games can bypass the softmod. They are loaded before the MSDash.

Ironically NKPatcher or the BFM bios is not required for the installation of the softmod, all these do is allow IGR back to the dashboard, but you shouldn’t be doing IGR when Softmodding anyways.

 

this is a problem I face on nearly a daily basis, is people thing UnleashX is the softmod or that you don’t need to softmod to TSOP. When I fact you do, its just people seem think the softmod is something it isn’t. 

Edited by Rocky5

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I think we'll have to agree to disagree.
Softmod doesn't just mean software modification. It means that the console operates in a modified state without a hardware modification.


To me it's pretty darn clear. The exploit itself simply enables you to run some very specific code that you couldn't before... but not all unsigned code. At the time it runs, no stock software has been modified.
It runs pbl for example which loads a bfm bios and boom. You're now in a modified state. All unsigned code runs.
The way to know if you're "modded" or not is when the stock bios is no longer running and a hacked bios is running its place.... or the stock bios has been patched, etc. There is no grey area.

So no, I think logically your point is off the mark and makes it incredibly confusing for people to understand. I believe my point still stands.
You do not have to load a bfm bios to TSOP flash. You only need to run an exploit that runs flashing software. That quite clearly isn't a softmod as it's not replacing the bios in memory and enabling you to run all unsigned code. 

We have to remember why the term softmod even exists. If hardware mods didn't exist, would we call them softmods? No. They would just be mods. So, it is extremely clear that softmod doesn't just mean software modification. It means that the system operates in a fully modified state but lacks a hardware mod. 

I respect you and everything you've done and I hope my post doesn't seem disrespectful.

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I’m sorry but that’s incorrect, NKPatcher doesn’t load any BFM bios :/ NKPatcher is a kernel patcher. ( New Kernel patcher )

you also do not need to load anything other than a signed ( habibi ) xbe file, as like I said the softmod is software modification, the kernel is always loaded in to memory all the NDURE exploit does is patch the public key and a couple other parts to load a signed xbe file. It modifies the software on the xbox, ie, the kernel in memory. ( exactly the same as the save exploits, NDURE exploit is a buffer overflow caused by the Xbox dashboard fonts )

Also signed xbe files can be UnleashX or NKPatcher or PBL, in fact any xbe file. 

It’s not like I’m talking out my arse here, I have TSOP flashers that load directly from a save file + I modified NKPatcher and done my own softmod, so I know exactly how it works and how it functions. 

Have a a look at the source code on my github and you will see exactly what I mean. 

 

Hardmod = hardware modification ( anything that requires soldering for example )

softmod = Software modification ( anything that modified code on the Xbox )

its not difficult to understand. 

And loading a bios into ram is also software modification, you’re replacing running software in this case the kernel with a new kernel. 

 

The problem we we have in this day and age is people associated Softmods with loading backups and loading dashboards from power on, you included. When in fact while it’s technically true, it’s not why it was originally called softmod, it was coined that after the first Linux save was released as hardmods were already a thing back then and they abbreviated software modification to softmod. 

 

Edit: spelling

Edited by Rocky5

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You're right in that it's not hard to understand... but nothing you've said has rebutted what I've said. The fact remains that the exploit and softmod are not the same thing. They are two very different things. To say anything else is to be intentionally deceptive to people trying to understand. Sorry but you're just incorrect and I'm not going to back down from it unless you actually have something to rebut the point. You don't, so that's it in my mind. Again, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree. You believe what you believe. I believe what I believe. I walked through the logic of what I believe.  You didn't. So I have to stick with what I believe as I can follow the logic.

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Ok, so you load the save and the save does what?

answer: it modifies the kernel in memory by changing the last 4 bytes of the public key so it can load a specific signed xbe file. In this case a habibi signed xbe file. 

 

What does the NDURE exploit do.

answer: it modifies the kernel in memory by changing the last 4 bytes of the public key so it can load a specific signed xbe file. In this case a habibi signed xbe file. 

 

The ironic thing here is they both use long strings to cause buffer overflows. 

 

You do not need NKPatcher or a BFM bios to load UnleashX as your dashboard or any other xbe files. 

 

Im not going to keep this going as I can’t be bothered, But you’re causing problems for a lot of use that have to answer questions and help folk on a daily basis with this stuff. 

 

I just don't get how you don’t understand that a save exploit is exploit software and modifying it.

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What I don't get is: why you don't get the fact that running the exploit itself does not in and of itself modify the console to allow you to run any unsigned code on it. Thus it's not a softmod. It enables the softmod. The softmod is what enables all unsigned code to run. This is extremely clear and nothing you've said has changed that. So I don't get what you don't get about it... but it just couldn't be any more clear.

 

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It's like saying a key = a secret room. 
Of course it doesn't. The key enables you to open the door to get access to the secret room, but it is not itself the secret room.

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I give up, I guess I and every one else have been wrong all these years :/ including the Linux dev team and Xbox_Habibi who created the first 007 exploit and created the habibi key that is used in the major software modifications on the Xbox. 

 

NKPatcher is what enables all the unsigned code and special features. The NDURE exploit that modifies the kernel ( SOFTWARE ) is what loads NKPatcher. So without the first software modification there would be no other patching or loaders. 

 

What you you don’t get is a software modification doesn’t need to do anything other than modify software :/ and the save dashboard exploits do just that.

 

unsigned code has bugger all to do with this.

 

you have to modify software to load anything that isn’t signed by MS, so that means software modification ( softmod ) you seem to be grasping to unsigned code like that’s what a softmod is, it’s not. It a byproduct of a softmod. 

Edited by Rocky5

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The key question that needs to be answered is: If running an exploit is softmodding, what is it called when you automatically run the exploit at every boot that either patches or replaces the stock bios with a modified bios so that you can run unsigned code? Unsigned code is not only important... it is THE MOST important variable in the equation. 
Without this, you can't differentiate between running an exploit to run a single program or actually booting to a modified state. That is what this discussion is about and that is what the logic supports. I'm sorry if you got angry about it, but the logic is quite clear.

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"it's not difficult to understand

Hardmod = hardware modification ( anything that requires soldering for example )

softmod = Software modification ( anything that modified code on the Xbox )"

Except a hardmod is just using hardware to replace the stock bios. So it's modifying software... so by your definition it is also a softmod.

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38 minutes ago, OGXbox Admin said:

The key question that needs to be answered is: If running an exploit is softmodding, what is it called when you automatically run the exploit at every boot that either patches or replaces the stock bios with a modified bios so that you can run unsigned code? Unsigned code is not only important... it is THE MOST important variable in the equation. 
Without this, you can't differentiate between running an exploit to run a single program or actually booting to a modified state. That is what this discussion is about and that is what the logic supports. I'm sorry if you got angry about it, but the logic is quite clear.

You keep going on about replacing the bios in memory why? that hasn't been used since before late 2003, NKPatcher is what is used from 2003 onwards ie, New Kernel Patcher, it adds and patches the kernel code that is in memory.

The most important part of the softmod is loading any code. Without the first software exploit that modifies the kernel to allow homebrew xbe files to load you wouldn't have any code running. The secondary stage of the software modification isn't required to play copies or load dashboards. It is required to disable the xbe sign check and a few other security measures, but its not required to load games of a disc or dashboards. ( you just sign the xbe files with the new public key and you have a modded console that plays backups and can load dashboards, every xbe file in my softmod is habibi signed so it can run regardless of whether sign check has been patched or not )

18 minutes ago, OGXbox Admin said:

"it's not difficult to understand

Hardmod = hardware modification ( anything that requires soldering for example )

softmod = Software modification ( anything that modified code on the Xbox )"

Except a hardmod is just using hardware to replace the stock bios. So it's modifying software... so by your definition it is also a softmod.

You just answered it for me. ie, Hardware is used thus its a hardware mod :/ and the stock bios is only replaced when you TSOP which requires modifying the motherboard to allow writing of the TSOP chip. A modchip bypasses the bios completely and loads a hacked one.

 

Can we stop going round in circle now please.

 

Edited by Rocky5

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34 minutes ago, Rocky5 said:

You keep going on about replacing the bios in memory why? that hasn't been used since before late 2003, NKPatcher is what is used from 2003 onwards ie, New Kernel Patcher, it adds and patches the kernel code that is in memory.

The most important part of the softmod is loading any code. Without the first software exploit that modifies the kernel to allow homebrew xbe files to load you wouldn't have any code running. The secondary stage of the software modification isn't required to play copies or load dashboards. It is required to disable the xbe sign check and a few other security measures, but its not required to load games of a disc or dashboards. ( you just sign the xbe files with the new public key and you have a modded console that plays backups and can load dashboards, every xbe file in my softmod is habibi signed so it can run regardless of whether sign check has been patched or not )

You just answered it for me. ie, Hardware is used thus its a hardware mod :/ and the stock bios is only replaced when you TSOP which requires modifying the motherboard to allow writing of the TSOP chip. A modchip bypasses the bios completely and loads a hacked one.

 

Can we stop going round in circle now please.

 

I already stated what you stated here. You're saying unsigned code isn't required. It is if you don't want to have to sign EVERY XBE that runs on the system. So while in the most black and white of viewpoints it's not required... it actually is for the end user. 
You're wanting to get into semantics of how the mod functions in order to create a new argument. I get that. You know more about how the softmod functions than anyone else... including me. There is no contest there. Fortunately, that is not required for this discussion. The fact is and you admit it right there, that the exploit is what enables everything, but it needs to run some other piece of code that is used for another purpose. If that purpose is to run unsigned code aka make the console modified in the way we all know and love.. it is a softmod. So by your own explanation the exploit is one thing. The softmod, while it depends on the exploit to exist is another thing.

Hardware is used in an exploit as well. How else will you get the exploited save on there? 

We CAN stop going round in circles only because I don't think you understand that this is fun to me and not offensive in any way. I have the utmost respect for you, who you are, and what you do. Try not to take offense to me. I really enjoy intelligent discussions and while you may not share the opinion that this is one of those, I believe it is.

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On 9/13/2017 at 7:25 AM, OGXbox Admin said:

Key phrase "so it can load a specific xbe" = not softmodded.

But software has been modified to be able to load a specific XBE (Xbox Executable)!  Any software modification = softmod. (Hmm, bold doesn't show up BOLD to me looks normal.)

Even Hardmods (modchips) loading a hacked BIOS is a softmod.  It just uses a bit of hardware to load modified software.

Edited by KaosEngineer

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6 hours ago, KaosEngineer said:

But software has been modified to be able to load a specific XBE (Xbox Executable)!  Any software modification = softmod. (Hmm, bold doesn't show up BOLD to me looks normal.)

Even Hardmods (modchips) loading a hacked BIOS is a softmod.  It just uses a bit of hardware to load modified software.

That point has already been discussed and put to rest. Please read the entire thread before you jump in. If you have a new point to make, I'm more than happy to discuss it. If it's already taken place, which this one has then I don't think there is any usefulness in rehashing it.

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