Thursday, 19 August 2010

PS3 Finally Cracked?

The ongoing battle between Sony and the pirates looking for a clean way of cracking the PS3 may have just taken an unexpected turn. Today, an Australian company (OzModChips) selling mod-chips revealed via YouTube that the PS3’s security system might finally be completely compromised supposedly allowing for copied games and custom code to be run on the console. Or so various mod sites have been claiming.

Apparently, the company was sent a USB dongle with software from an unknown source in Hong Kong, and has since been very keen to show off the device’s potential. This dongle looks to contain software which effectively converts a users home PS3 system into a Sony certified debug unit with a few button presses upon start-up. Shown in the two YouTube videos posted today here and here from the same source, is the complete process of activating the hack and getting retail games copied across to the PS3’s HDD.

The hack, called PSJailbreak, now allows for full retail games to be copied and run over the hard drive on any model PS3 without the aid of any internal modification. Quite what is happening here we’re not sure, but it looks like the dongle either contains some software keys from Sony, and some kind of custom hardware built in allowing the PS3 to be converted into a debug unit of sorts. This would mean that it is likely that someone from inside Sony at least provided the unknown hacker in Hong Kong with the keys, usually signed and locked down deep within developers.

Since OzModChips displayed the hack working on YouTube several other mod chip sites have also confirmed that the hack is apparently real; that the PS3 has been cracked wide open through a rather simple procedure, and what looks like some stolen software keys from Sony. It has also been revealed from an unknown source that Sony are working on a patch to fix the problem (officially unconfirmed), and that this will entail a modified boot sequence for the machine, along with coded game discs for all new releases in order to only make them playable on systems using the latest firmware.

So far Sony has yet to comment on the situation, and the jury’s still out with regards to how authentic the actual hack is itself. Still, this certainly looks like being the first truly successful attempt at completely unlocking the PS3, and a rather bad day for Sony.

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