Playstation3 Featurebanner 25 Oct

Eurogamer reports that a new custom firmware for hacked Playstation 3 consoles was released earlier this week, which allows users of to log onto the Playstation Network features of the platform. In addition, the LV0 decryption keys have been made public, effectively allowing hackers to decrypt any future firmware updates that Sony releases in an attempt to shut the hacked consoles out of the online network. More information is included after the jump.

Following the first wave of piracy-enabled consoles over two years ago, Sony issued a firmware update that effectively managed to lock hacked consoles out of the Playstation Network. Only consoles that continued without updating to the latest firmware would continue to be piracy-enabled. However, with the latest custom firmware update, access to the Playstation Network has been restored for users with a hacked console.

The publication of the LV0 decryption keys by the hacker group known as “The Three Tuskateers” comes after they feared another group of hackers had acquired the key as well and was planning to make money off of it. This key allows consoles to decrypt firmware updates issued by Sony and is the same across all Playstation 3 consoles currently in existence, as all consoles must be able to accept updates issued through the Playstation Network. The discovery thereof allows users to decrypt the exact contents of the update and uncover the “passphrase” used by Playstation Network to identify consoles running on the official firmware. According to The Three Tuskateers, the key had been discovered a while ago but they weren’t planning on ever releasing it to the public.

Sony has not yet issued an official response to the news, though it is likely that it will soon release a new firmware update in an attempt to close this security breach.