Has The PS3 Been 'Hacked' Again?

A Hong Kong-based modder known as AnoRelease is claiming to have made a pretty significant change to some PlayStation 3 code, using a highly technical routine to trick a retail console into thinking it was a "debug" unit.

Debug PlayStation 3 consoles are those used by developers and some press, and differ wildly from the retail units you buy in a store. A debug PS3 can, for example, install games from files downloaded over the internet (it's how in-progress or preview builds of games are often distributed).

This is why such a workaround would be of benefit to both pirates and homebrew enthusiasts. If the PS3 could be tricked into playing any compatible code you threw at it, it'd be a cinch to play pirated games on the console.

AnoRelease's "conversion method" uses a lot of expert-level meddling at the very heart of a PS3 to make the switch. I'll be honest, the kind of stuff being outlined goes way over my head, and carries repeated warnings that one misstep could brick a console. But other users have begun posting clips of the workaround in action, like the one above, in which a copy of Modern Warfare 3 is run using the exploit.

Given the fact we can't verify this ourselves, and that the only "proof" thus far are some blurry YouTube videos, don't treat this as confirmation that, a year after the console's last copy protection saga, the PS3 has for certain been once again cracked open.

We've contacted Sony for comment, and will update if we hear back.

UPDATE: This new exploit only applies to mod-savvy users already using custom firmware, not everyday retail PS3 units. Apparently this will presently only work on consoles already using older, custom firmware, dramatically undercutting its potential for widespread use. Also, the laborious process described in the link below has since been slightly automated.

PS3 CEX (Retail) to DEX (Debug) Conversion Method is Released! [PS3 News]


Comments

    Looks like a standard development test kit to me.

    wow. old news much?
    this was released nearly 2 weeks ago. i have been tempted to convert one of my ps3's. but, it does seem a little too risky. there are many people confirming the validity of this on various sites. also a few with paper weights. lol.

    Ah, well.

    They'll just patch the exploit out, shouldn't be too hard.

      Yeah the thing is the exploite means it's possible to install custom unsigned firmware though. So Sony can patch the official firmware, but in theory they can now make new custom firmwares that play new games thus giving people a way of avoiding patches. Possibly.

      not sure if this comment was made before or after the Update was added to the article.

      As it only works off of custom firmware (v3.55), a patch would be useless as it only patches the OFW whilst this is running off of CFW. Unless they were accessing psn through a loophole in the network, and sony had to block it, then we may see a patch on the OFW to block/rewrite access or whatever. However if it was found that it could easily be applied to consoles on more current FW, then we should expect a patch.

    Oh boy, another system update to look forward to...

    The issue is, if this is true (and even f it isn't), that these exploits merely gives game and console companies ammunition to move towards a cloud based authentication, always-on DRM and other measures that the average (game buying) gamer dislikes....

    This really seems to be a kick to sensitive regions for all the legitimate users who will see an increase in DRM over this sort of thing.

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