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New Lv0 Hack Appears For PS3, Custom Firmware Released

Uh oh.


Every PS3 needs to be able to update to every firmware revision, hence why the leak of the decryption key is so crucial.
A new custom firmware based on the official 4.25 release has appeared for PlayStation 3, opening up the console well beyond its intended use.

The release appeared late last night, and apparently contains keys for Lv0 access, the lowest level the PS3 currently tries to protect, which is clearly bad news for the platform holder.

Early reports suggest that the hack allows PSN access, although this is almost certainly going to be locked out with a future firmware update, even if it’s not tonight’s planned 4.30 release.

Richard Leadbetter writes that this is a “security nightmare” for Sony, as there’s clear potential for this to allow exploits to run pirated software.

He also suggests that the reveal of the Lv0 key means that any updates going forward “can be decrypted with little or no effort whatsoever.”

Apparently the hack (and the key decryption) has been known about for some time, but a rival outfit got hold of the information and planned to sell it on to end users, prompting the release of the custom firmware for free.

“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,” said a statement from the hacker group.

It’s probably worth pointing out that using custom firmwares may render your console useless, or break your warranty agreement.

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29 Comments
  1. razz1909
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    The never ending battle continues!

    Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 12:34.
  2. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    It appears the company didn’t release the details because they were making money off selling either their solution or the custom firmware itself.

    I wonder if the barrier to entry is still significantly high to not effect the mainstream too much eg. you need to take the lid off a PS3 and run a complicated hardware solution before enabling this ‘easy’ option.

    I’ve not paid any attention to the hacking scene since 3.60 effectively made PS3 hacking a minority sport, ensuring there was very little writing/reporting value in the whole topic, so I was surprised to see consoles running a custom version of the current software able to access the PSN without a problem? I wonder how Sony aren’t able to brick these units?

    With level 0 access in the wild people will be able to decrypt Sony’s future firmware, find the PSN ‘passphrase’ and issue new customer firmware to enable PSN access on ‘hacked’ consoles, it all comes down to how hard this hacking is in the first place I suppose.

    Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 12:37.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      A quick look still seems to indicate the need to downgrade to 3.55 which itself has significant barriers of opening units, soldering, extracting and patching ‘dumps’. Even a no soldering solution requires tampering with the circuit boards.

      This gets you to official firmware 3.55 (practically defenceless) which it’s then possible to run much later custom firmware versions enabling the ability to play ‘backed-up’ games that require later fw versions and of course PSN access.

      This is significant enough to mean it should remain a very, very minority sport, unless new methods come out of these lv0 developments.

      Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 12:55.
      • Flightx
        Member
        Since: May 2009

        the new jailbreak for the ps3 doesnt make you downgrade to 3.55 its just an update file from a memory stick needed i wont put the link on here but they even have a link to a 4.30 jailbreak. there is the option to downgrade to 3.55 but if 4.+ is now fully open i dont see the point.

        Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 13:47.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        Yeah just seen all that.

        Essentially there is none of the barriers to entry from previous jailbreaking efforts that I mentioned above. Further still the release of this key could mean future Sony attempts to patch/inconvenience ‘hackers’ won’t be successful too.

        Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 14:09.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Did the same here. Went off to read up about it and the ball ache is quite the fuss.

        Richard Leadbetter writes that this is a “security nightmare” is a bit of an overreaction. Sony has had one of the finest piracy-free consoles for years. It lies at about a hundredth of the other current consoles (MS, Nintendo) and has been close to zero-piracy for many years. Even now, after reading about it, it sounds like quite the chore to get this all going. Really…. sod that.

        Sony has done a cracking (ahem) job on the security can stand proud of this achievement.

        Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 14:20.
      • Flightx
        Member
        Since: May 2009

        that being said. it does say that once you are on the cfw there is no way for you to get back to the normal fw yet. so if sony can find a way around this alot of people will be stuck on it.

        Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 14:43.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        Reading up further my second comment is wrong and you do in fact need to downgrade to 3.55 along with all the hardware hassles that involves to be able to do anything on this front.

        Apparently anything that says otherwise is fake, according to numerous sites respected amongst such circles.

        Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 15:09.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        While tampering with the circuit board is a minor entry barrier, there’s always that one guy who knows a guy who would chip your Playstation or Xbox for a few bucks. I’m sure there will be people offering the same service for PS3s soon. If you want to run a custom firmware and pirated games there will be a way even for the most tech illiterate people out there.

        As for this being the end of the world for Sony and the PS3… It won’t affect game releases of sales significantly. The Xbox 360 was hacked ages ago and it is still outselling multiplatform titles compared to the PS3 and new games are being released for that platform.
        In a few days this is old news and nothing will change… unless Sony removes the ability to actually play games out of fear of piracy… >_>

        Comment posted on 24/10/2012 at 08:55.
  3. gazzagb
    Master of speling mitakse
    Since: Feb 2009

    Surely though, with the Lv0 key, hackers can decrypt the future update to block PSN access, as they can with any other future updates? I reckon they’ll remove the feature to update FW via USB soon.

    Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 12:38.
    • jimmy-google
      Member
      Since: Feb 2009

      I wouldn’t be surprised either. If you wan to play online then you can download it straight to the console anyway and any game that needs a firmware update has it on its disc.

      Sony released a console with loads of options but one by one hackers are forcing Sony to remove them.

      I imagine this hack won’t by pass Online Passes which will hopefully have some impact on preventing piracy.

      Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 12:56.
      • Breezy
        Member
        Since: Mar 2012

        If they take USB updating away it will stop being able to upgrade the Hdd. I have changed my hard drives 4 times in 2 machines and each time had to have a copy of the latest firmware on USB to get them going.

        Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 13:42.
      • jimmy-google
        Member
        Since: Feb 2009

        Never needed it to update my hard drive

        Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 14:22.
      • Forrest_01
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        I’ve needed to, i just never have! :D

        Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 14:38.
  4. carson321
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    all things considered, its still a pretty secure console in comparison

    Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 12:52.
  5. Bilbo_bobbins
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    I honestly don’t understand why people have the time to bother with this.

    Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 13:13.
    • BrendanCalls
      Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - YOHIMBÉ!!!
      Since: Forever

      I have to agree, its of very little benefit to the vast majority of mankind for them to spend precious seconds doing this. The irony is that they don’t see it as the blatant destruction it is. if they applied their obvious skills to being creative instead it’d be better for all of us

      Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 13:27.
  6. Jag
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    I just hope this doesn’t affect how Sony treats their genuine customers.

    Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 13:13.
  7. parryman
    Member
    Since: Apr 2012

    Waiting for a XGC hack…

    Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 13:20.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      What’s that?

      Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 14:10.
      • HoboCastro
        Member
        Since: Mar 2010

        Cross Game Chat.

        Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 14:52.
  8. stormy
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    Yeh I can’t see the point of these especially when you lose PSN access.

    Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 13:32.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      You don’t any more, that’s the point… Hopefully we’re not faced with a future where PS3 multiplayer gaming is ruined by glitching/boosting/cheating ‘hackers’

      Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 14:01.
      • Forrest_01
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Some games already are apparently. A couple of CoD’s i believe people have reported god like modes etc & even in other games i have come across the odd person that just won’t die/lose ammo/etc.

        & yes, before anyone mentions it i am bad at multiplayer games, but on the occasions i refer to, no-one else could take them down either! :D

        It will be annoying if it becomes more widespread though.

        Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 14:42.
  9. cam the man
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    I hope Sony get the better of the hackers this, and every time.
    I would rather pay for genuine games etc. than give my money to pirates. The more money that gets back to the developers, the more can be invested into new games.

    Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 14:02.
  10. HoboCastro
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Good news is if you want to keep folding maybe this can get 4.25 CFW on PSN after 4.30.

    Comment posted on 23/10/2012 at 15:02.

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