Sony's PlayStation 3 is facing a new security threat – one it hasn't seen since the system was cracked via the PSJailbreak in 2011. According to a report on Eurogamer, a new PlayStation Network-enabled custom firmware was recently released along with the publication of the console's LV0 decryption keys. While the release of the 3.60 firmware for the PlayStation 3 plugged many of the security holes in the console, those with hacked consoles or that are still running and earlier version of the firmware – 3.55 or lower – can supposedly use the custom firmware released in the wilds of the Internet.
So what serious security issues does this custom firmware and the publication of LV0 decryption keys bring to Sony's door? Well with the release of the LV0 key, hackers can decrypt future Sony firmware updates with little or no effort. The LV0 key allows for firmware downloaded to a PC to decrypt the CoreOS and XMB files then re-encrypt them using the existing 3.55 keys in order to be run on hacked consoles.
Eurogamer says that these keys may not have been released at all if not for a Chinese hacking outfit called "BlueDiskCFW," who gained access to the keys and planned to charge for new custom firmware updates it would create. The original group that created the LV0 had no plans on releasing them, but eventually they were leaked onto the Internet in some limited fashion. Seeing that someone was going to profit on them, the group known as "The Three Tuskateers" decided to release them into the wilds of the Internet.
"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," the group said in a statement.
Sony has yet to publicly comment on these new security risks, but no doubt they are already working on finding a way to make these new methods of compromising the PS3 ineffective. We'll have more on this story as it develops, but some in the hacking community are already calling these latest tools "the final hack for the PS3."