Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Newsy: Sony Fights PS3 Jailbreak

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A jailbreak has been introduced that will allow PS3 users to play pirated games.
“A USB dongle can now jailbreak a PlayStation 3. Well at least that’s what’s being claimed by hackers who are selling the device. Reportedly, the PS jailbreak as they’re calling it, will allow users to play copied games from the system’s hard drive or even an external drive.” (CNET)
It all started with a small USB stick, called the PS3 Jailbreak. It is designed to do the impossible -- hack the PS3 software so users can play pirated games on it. Within a week Sony was able to acquire an injunction from the Australian government to ban the USB from being sold.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports this is the first time the Playstation’s security has been breached since its release in 2006. Sony has acquired all the hardware from the USB’s creator to release a firmware update to stop the hackers from spreading.
“But updating the PS3 to disable the hack may be futile as the makers of the PS Jailbreak say it can also block Sony's mandatory firmware updates. However, Sony has already begun banning PS3 owners who have installed the hack from playing online through its PlayStation Network.”
Despite Sony’s aggressive attempts to block the spread of the firmware, G4TV reports it might be a bit too late. It says the open-source software has already hit the Internet, which will allow anyone with an Internet connection and a programmable flash drive to hack PS3 systems: “Further the new code is an open-source exploit, meaning it’s not out for profit and doesn’t even have a company name for the lawyers to chase. So for now hackers can rejoice, the rest of us…we can just carry on. Go get some ice-cream.”
As Sony tries to halt the spread of the jailbreak, it has also -- without saying why -- released a new mandatory firmware update for the PS3. The update has the online-gaming community and blogosphere inflamed. One user of the PlaystationBlog wrote... “At least be honest about the update. We all know it’s the first of an expected hundred-plus firmware updates to block the Jailbreak. Now you’ll be doing these every day like with the PSP instead of actually taking the time to give us updates we actually need or working on making the system/service better.”
Finally, a writer for Crunch Gear asks if downloading the program is even worth it. He points out the program can only be used to run homemade software; users will not be able to download full games like Madden: “Of course, the very fact that there’s already an open-source version of the hack, albeit one without the piracy features, could well mean that other, less noble folks are working on a full-on piracy-friendly version of the software.”
What do you think? Is Sony right in chasing the elusive hackers to protect its product?
Writer: Adnan Khan


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