back to article Latest PS3 hack hits Sony with massive migraine

News that the PlayStation 3 has been jailbroken, again, is hardly a shocker. However, the latest hack makes Sony's battle against piracy a very tricky task, experts claim. While fresh custom firmware hit the web earlier this week, it's the leak of the so-called LV0 decryption keys which leaves Sony with a serious headache. …


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  1. PaulR79

    Will Sony really care?

    The PS3 is coming to the end of its life and the amount of people that will use this has to be quite small compared to the overall userbase.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will Sony really care?

      Indeed, this is only of any use if your system hasn't been purchased or updated in the latest 18 months (i.e. running Firmware 3.55 or earlier).

      It's otherwise useless. And as usual Eurogamer are being REALLY naive in it's suggestion it's going to be hard to fix. It's actually very simple. The key allows decryption of the modules, BUT NOT DECOMPILATION of the firmware, Sony only have to change the interfaces between the modules, and the hackers can no longer mix and match...

      I would be willing to bet money, that like last time, this temporary hole is slammed shut within a week or two, and the PS3 will remain by a massive margin, the most secure console and gaming system of all time.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I hold out the slight hope that this will bring forward the release of the PS4?

    1. Stu


      Not a chance, have you been paying attention to the levels of disdain and utter contempt Sony has for it's paying customer base over the years? Not to mention it's VERY poor OS and general software writing skills (true-multitasking anyone?).

      My PS3 is now only a Blu-Ray player to me. As soon as it conks out I'm buying a (non-Sony) dedicated player.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No!

        My PS3 phat pretty much was just a bluray for the last few months after my housemate updated over my custom firmware, I swapped the 40GB drive back in so I could use the 250GB one I put in there even. Now knowing there's a few 4.21 (although unstable, apparently) firmwares wandering around, I may bring the beast back again one day.

        Consoles though, I'll prolly get a Wii U and call it a day.

  3. David Webb

    As everyone knows, it's only of use to people with already hacked consoles (which the new CFW is bricking at quite a nice rate). The new consoles (3x and 4x) come with lv0.2 which (as far as I'm aware) cannot be hacked so the system is still locked down for anyone who has a PS3 that came with FW > 3.60 and most likely will never be hacked.

    The "serious" hackers only really hacked it to get Linux support back (and don't support piracy) which begs the question, why were the serious hackers looking for the lv0 keys when they already had Linux and homebrew on 3.55 in the first place? If you built it, they will steal it and try to make a profit!

    1. asdf

      > If you built it, they will steal it and try to make a profit!

      Yeah but Sony goes out of its way to make itself a target being by far the biggest DRM (most DRM schemes invented by Sony) peddler in the world. Going after geohot, installing rootkits, taunting anonymous with such a poorly secured network exposing their customers info to the world is not a way to build up goodwill with customers so they want to buy your stuff instead of steal it. Sony is still pretty arrogant and still thinks of its customers as walking wallets and thieves first. Might be why they have lost billions for the last five years straight. Japanese hardware companies in general tend to think you are only leasing the hardware you buy (Nintendo fights against fair use law in the US which is the law of the land). The fact is it is your hardware and you have the right to run any code you are legally authorized to run on YOUR hardware.

      1. Andy Fletcher

        You mad bro?

        I agree with you, I really do. But I don't believe the majority of uses for hacked firmware are for creating PS3 arrays to do scientific research. Sony aren't what I'd call "nice" but then I can't think of any other multi national company I'd use that adjective for either. I do think they have a right to protect their business interests.

        1. David Webb

          Re: You mad bro?

          No one is saying Sony is perfect, but the first whiff of an exploit on the PS3 came about because of OtherOS which they then promptly removed and so began the fight between Sony and the hackers. The initial hacks were caused by incompetence from Sony, the USB stick and using the same key (or something) which led to CFW which naturally lead to piracy.

          Look at the PS3 Scene since then though, since 3.55 there have been no new hacks released, people have been stuck on the same firmware for..... 2 years? The hackers had what they wanted, Linux back on the PS3 so they had no reason to go after the lv0 keys, the lv0 keys were found a long time ago by the hackers and not released because it would lead to easier piracy of all PS3 games for pirates on 3.55. It was only released now because the Chinese website was going to charge people for the hackers work.

          If the hackers didn't want people getting access to new firmware and the holy grail keys, they shouldn't have gone looking for them, even in an exercise to see if they could, they should have realised that it would eventually be leaked out one way or another so self restraint should have been the prime directive for them, now the lv0 keys are out and anyone with a fat PS3 can now use the newest firmware that Sony releases and there is nothing Sony can do to combat it on the fats.

          1. asdf

            Re: You mad bro?

            >a fat PS3 can now use the newest firmware that Sony releases and there is nothing Sony can do to combat it on the fats

            Yes there is something they can do. They can quit acting like such arrogant douche bags hostile towards their customers. When people love a brand they are much less likely to rip it off. I own a launch fatty but won't rip off any games. In fact, currently I am addicted to CS GO which is DRM but because Steam has built up some goodwill with me and only charges $15 which is very reasonable I pay without a second thought (yes better on PC but I suck with mouse keyboard against the head shot kiddies).

        2. asdf

          Re: You mad bro?

          >I do think they have a right to protect their business interests.

          Why don't they start by building products people want to buy? Sony is the ultimate example why media studios make sh_t locked down hardware nobody wants. Sony buying a movie studio was the official start of their decline into irrelevance hardware wise. How the mighty have fallen. Bet Sony is happy to see they have sold nearly 100 million less PS3 than PS2. When the population is increasing selling less in the next generation is a major fail.

          1. asdf

            Re: You mad bro?

            Apple is where Sony was 20 years ago. Sony buying a media studio is why we called them iPods instead of Walkman digital or whatever. Apple if they are smart they will stay out of the content creation business and just act as the middleman taking their fat cut.

          2. jeffdyer

            Re: You mad bro?

            i just love the way that spotty kids in their first job know more about global industry than Sony.

            1. asdf

              Re: You mad bro?

              >know more about global industry than Sony.

              Now 1/5 the size of their hey day which I remember quite clearly as even my kids aren't on their first jobs. Those of us old to remember when the Sony brand was gold for the customer are the ones saddest to see that their hardware has even fell behind the me too Koreans.

              1. jeffdyer

                Re: You mad bro?

                i have Sony tv blu-ray av amp ps1 ps2 ps3 nw series walkman car stereo alarm clock cd player cassette deck turntable portable tv you name it. some gear is good some has died over the years but i still love those 4 capital letters.

                maybe they did miss the boat by misjudging the public attitudes to quality - eg they were happy with crappy low bitrate mp3 when atrac although better at low bit rates was seen as closed and the software too awkward. i still see my model of walkman with nr headphones going on ebay for over 50 quid and they would be over 5 years old now. so some people want their gear.

                1. MJI Silver badge

                  Re: most companies missread this.

                  All the big companies including Sony, Pioneer, Phillips, ect were chasing quality with SACD and DVD-Audio, they thought it was the future, so did a lot of people.

                  But instead mp3 sadly won.

        3. P. Lee

          Re: You mad bro?

          > I do think they have a right to protect their business interests.

          Possibly, but if they want to keep control over what they sell, after the sell it, they need to come out and honestly label the deal as the "rental" of a PS3 and fix them if they break over their entire lifetime.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft sponsored FUD.

        Every single word you spoke there is utter bullshit.

        If you replace the word Sony with Apple, then it might be a little more accurate.

        1. asdf

          Re: Microsoft sponsored FUD.

          Check my former posts and you will find I am no friend of Microsoft (lol dissed the Surface big time in just the last few days). The arrogance coming out of Apple does remind me of when Sony started to fall as well. So far though they haven't started gimping their products solely for the benefit of the media side of their company like Sony.

        2. asdf

          Re: Microsoft sponsored FUD.

          I also listed many of the big turds Microsoft has laid in the past 15 years or so (have been some legendary ones). Finally some twat AC posting from their Sony reseller company's network are hardly in a position to question motives. You can check my post history. What about yours?

    2. Anonymous Coward


      "The "serious" hackers only really hacked it to get Linux support back (and don't support piracy)"

      If you ever used PS3 Linux, you will know how totally pathetic it was. Anyone doing this, is doing it for piracy reasons, but using Linux as a lame excuse.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Company

    What goes around comes around Sony, putting rootkits on peoples PCs and then foisting Cinavia on PS3 users. Add that to a whole bunch of crap that you throw at your VAIO users you had it coming.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Company

      Har Har, Mr Pirate speaks. Both of those things you mentioned are only of concern if you are a freetard that downloads everything.

      Your time will also come. All that pirated stuff you download, it's all been logged for the last couple of years. And someday soon, you will be getting your knock at the door...

      I hope mums got alot of cash....

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Company

        The rootkit affected far more than 'pirates'. Among those affected were:

        1 plain ordinary users. Many people went out and purchased the 'protected' discs and installed them... and then found that there were problems with some CD players (especially in cars) and, worse, that they'd installed a rootkit on their computer which _they_ didn't know about, but which many, many, MANY malware makers _did_. This meant that people other than Sony figured out how to use Sony's rootkit to screw with ordinary users' machines. And they did.

        2 the artists whose albums were afflicted with the rootkit 'protection' took a pasting. One memorable review of a certain artist's 'protected' album went "This is the finest work <name redacted> has produced in the last 20 years. Don't buy it." The review went on to say _why_, and every word was a condemnation of the DRM. Several artists complained to Sony that they'd lost a mint because of the rootkit on their albums, and, worse, now their names were associated with evil malware-inducing, CD-player breaking, code, and even their _new_ albums, most of which didn't have DRM, were suffering a severe drop-off in sales.

        3 Sony itself. The bad publicity dropped sales for Sony music and videos, even non-DRMed examples. It also caused a lot of people to simply boycott Sony products in general, even hardware. Sony took a _significant_ hit to its reputation (which has never recovered) and to its bottom line.

        1. Fatman

          Re: simply boycott Sony products in general

          I have placed Sony on my corporata nongrata list.

          I will NEVER buy any of their shit!!!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Company

          meh, 10k CD's in total (most of which were recalled and never actually got to consumers), mostly Ricky Martin, Celeon Dion and Neil Diamond.

          Mountain out of a molehill much??? Some people are really pathetic....

      2. Fatman

        Re: ...a freetard that downloads everything.

        Hey ID10T, read the post below about rootkits.

        I know because I had a system fucked up by one!!!!!

        So, pardon me while I reach for the bottle of crocodile tears as I weep for those arrogant assholes!!!!

      3. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Company

        >Both of those things you mentioned are only of concern if you are a freetard that downloads everything.

        No, the Sony rootkit was shown to leave a path for more malicious stuff.

        Also, Sony did release a few albums on CDs which deliberately had data errors... Most home audio CD players wouldn't notice, but these CDs wouldn't play on CD ROM drives or the many in-car players that in fact used CD ROM drives. Paying customers not getting what they paid for.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Company

        Try again ... I have legitimately stored all of my DVD's as ISO's & AVI's and shipped the hard copies up into my loft.

        Happily I could watch all of them through a media server via my PS3, until my old school fat PS3 died. Upon replacing with the newer thinner version I discovered Cinavia and that many of my newer releases won't play.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Rootkit & studios

      Didn't the parent company get very annoyed at this?

      AFAIR it was BMG. And Japan hated it.

      As to copy protection, yes I have come across it, not a Sony studio (most of their acts are useless), but I replaced it 4 or 5 times because my DVD player would not play it.

      It was a Sony player (1st gen) and would only play red book CDs.

      I ended up ripping and burning it!

      I would say a lot of Sonys issues now are due to media problems, such as BMG, personally I like their games studios, but the rest is causing problems. And you know whose fault it is, all those people who bought the wrong VCRs.

      So if you bought a Vhs VCR rather than a Beta VCR that is why Sony bought studios. I still have an indestructable Sanyo working.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The hackers got hacked


  6. mIRCat

    I would be happy...

    To be able to run my PS2 games I still enjoy and an additional operating system.

    Until then I don't see myself purchasing any console.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Latest PS3 hack hits Sony with massive migraine

    No it doesn't. You can only use this if you have Firmware 3.55 currently installed from 2 years ago. i.e. the 10 people that are still playing pirated PS3 games from 2 years ago can now play something newer.

    In other words, yet another storm in a teacup. Don't you just love rabid and poorly researched "news"...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Latest PS3 hack hits Sony with massive migraine

      People with hacked consoles have been able to easily play new games. The True Blue dongal allowed it. That dongal has been cracked now so 'new' games for all. All that is needed is the cracked files. Just like how cracks work on the PC - replace files and enjoy. This new key release with new FW, will allow users to play new games without a crack. Who knows they might start buying a few games now that they can run them directly. All that the lock down/witchhunt/sueing people has achieved is to split the PS3 community in half. Those that want homebrew and games and the ability to play their collection from an HD, and those that a happy with a locked up DRM fest that is the PS3. I guess for many it will be the last playstation they buy. I believe that is more of a headache for Sony... no future sales.

  8. asdf


    Securing hardware you don't have physical access too is always a fool's errand in the long run. If Sony put half as much effort in to securing their customer's data and putting out products people want to buy as they do trying to control how their users use their products they might not be having to lay off tens of thousands every few years. Media companies make crap hardware.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: hmm

      There is such a thing as one-way hardware design. Think of a booby-trapped box rigged to act the moment you open it in any manner, regardless of its orientation. How would one go about preventing the trap from acting without being able to open the box (and in this case, poking a hole in the box would count as opening it)? I would think such an approach could be applied to ICs as well, booby-trapping them to prevent them spilling their secrets. You would think top-secret hardware would have such safeguards.

      1. asdf

        Re: hmm

        Best talk out there explaining why long DRM is doomed to fail. Written in 2004 but still very relevant.

  9. Joerg

    "The Three Musketeers" is just Sony engineers/programmers in disguise.

    If they were real "pirates" they would have wanted to cash in sharing profits with the chinese group selling the pirated custom firmware.

    Reverse engineering can be way more expensive than the R&D needed to create the product itself. Decrypting and hacking is nothing simple. No one works for free. And only very experienced guys in the field with expensive equipment could managed doing any reverse engineering.

    But nowadays people just read on the 'net and believe all the marketing bollocks that companies/corporations spread around.

  10. Christian Berger

    And all just because they removed "Other system"

    If they wouldn't have stopped people from running Linux on the PS3 they wouldn't have had that problem. Everybody would have been happy, except for the pirates.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And all just because they removed "Other system"

      You got it the wrong way round. You HAD OtherOS, until GeoHot and his buddies tried to use it to crack open the console for piracy, so it got removed.

      I know it's fashionable to turn it around and pretend that the PSN hack was a result of removal, but the hackers ruined it for themselves, and the timelines of events don't lie. They abused the features they had, and had the taken away, that pissed them off, so they went after Sony and PSN, at the expense of legitimate PS3 users.

      SO lets not pretend they are the modern day robin hoods, they ruined the party for everyone....

  11. chipxtreme

    Some people just like the challenge of cracking something that is supposedly uncrackable. My guess is this is why it was cracked and the fact they kept quiet of it for 2 years sort of proves it.

    1. Joerg

      Yeah, sure.. and cows fly downtown...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple solution

    Sony could buy back all the unfixable "phat" PS3s in exchange for newer slim units or a money off coupon for the PS4.

    Just to be nice they could also include YLOD and RSoD units caused by their firmware update "fix" and forgive units opened to replace the Bluray modules.

    1. Robin Bradshaw

      Re: Simple solution

      An even simpler solution, they could just wait and the fat PS3's will all slowly die off with YLOD and the problem will go away.

  13. juice Silver badge

    This would have been interesting a few years ago...

    Y'know, when the Cell processor was still a relatively low-cost option for parallel processing research.

    But now, there's so many low-cost and/or multi-core processors out there, you're almost certainly better off going for something which isn't subject to the whims of corporate imperatives

    (e.g. - a 6-board, 12-core ARM cluster; each board has 1gb of ram and the entire ensemble uses just 30 watts and could probably be tucked into a phat-PS3's case with room to spare...)

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