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.