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Latest PS3 hack hits Sony with massive migraine

Master key leaked, pirates rejoice

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News that the PlayStation 3 has been jailbroken, again, is hardly a shocker. However, the latest hack makes Sony's battle against piracy a very tricky task, experts claim.

While fresh custom firmware hit the web earlier this week, it's the leak of the so-called LV0 decryption keys which leaves Sony with a serious headache.

The availability of the keys essentially makes the regular process of changing the PSN passphrase futile and means any system update the company pushes to our consoles can be decrypted with ease, including its latest firmware, version 4.30.

Every PS3 needs the ability to decrypt firmware in order for the console to update. As the LV0 key allows that to be achieved on a PC, the CoreOS and XMB files can be re-encrypted for the existing 3.55 firmware and will thus run on hacked consoles, Eurogamer reports.

Sony PS3 Even Slimmer

The group which discovered the so-called master key - which labels itself "The Three Musketeers" - kept details of the jailbreak secret. Until, that is, their system was accessed by Chinese hack-team "BlueDiskCFW", which planned to use the code to pump out new custom firmware at a price.

The Musketeers hit back and released the LV0 key to prevent anyone cashing in on their work. A free firmware update soon followed.

"Only the fear of our work being used by others to make money out of it has forced us to release this now," says the hacker group, in an apparent bid to distance itself from the moral implications of releasing pirate-friendly software.

Either way, gaming pirates will hit the grog in celebration while Sony considers a complete system overhaul - or admits defeat in its war against game rips. ®

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