New Lv0 Hack Appears For PS3, Custom Firmware Released

[drop2]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.

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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. The never ending battle continues!

  2. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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… >_>

  3. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • Never needed it to update my hard drive

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

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

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

    • 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

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

  7. Waiting for a XGC hack…

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

    • 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’

      • 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.

  9. 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.

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

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