PlayStation 3 hacked (again)
But this could be the biggest problem for Sony yet
First, there was the PS Jailbreak USB mod. Then there was Geohot, fail0verflow, and a whole lot of expensive litigation. Now a bunch of hackers, calling themselves The Three Muskateers, have released a new PlayStation Network-enabled custom firmware and the console’s decryption keys – making Sony’s problems a whole lot bigger.
Last year, Sony released a new firmware version (3.60) for the PS3 that plugged up most of the system’s vulnerabilities, and blocked modded consoles from connecting to the PlayStation Network. With the LV0 keys, users can now circumvent current and future access restrictions imposed by system updates.
“Every PS3 out there needs to be able to decrypt any firmware download package in order for the console to be updated (a 2006 launch PS3 can still update directly to the latest software),” explains Digital Foundry. “The release of the LV0 key allows for that to be achieved on PC, with the CoreOS and XMB files then re-encrypted using the existing 3.55 keys in order to be run on hacked consoles.”
Only modded consoles running firmware 3.55 or lower will be able to use the new custom firmware without resorting to complicated hardware downgrade devices.
What’s perhaps most interesting here is that the public release of this new custom firmware and LV0 keys might never have happened. Apparently the Muskateers had put this stuff together some time ago already, but the information was leaked and a Chinese hacker group made plans to start selling it. In response, the Muskateers decided to simply release it for free to prevent the others from turning a profit.
“You can be sure that if it wouldn’t have been for this leak, this key would never have seen the light of day, only the fear of our work being used by others to make money out of it has forced us to release this now,” the Muskateers said.
Sony has not yet made any official statement on the matter.