For a while, Sony was the poster boy amongst those who liked to tinker by allowing its PS3 to run Linux. This enabled many to build cheap supercomputers by wiring a few of the beasts together.
However, Sony decided that all this was a security risk and with an update froze such tinkers out. This sparked a move within the hacking community to find a way around Sony’s security so that everything could go back to its glorious open sauce daze.
Now George “GeoHot” Hotz, the bloke who cracked the iPhone, is telling the world+dog that he has found the keys to the PlayStation 3 and apparently they are still in the ignition. He has posted them online for the world to see here
He is the second in a week to turn over the PS3. Last week, another group claimed last week that they’d done much the same thing, and were in the process of releasing tools to allow people to install Linux on their system. GeoHot has gone a step further and simply published the PS3’s “root key” which means that people can work out their own way.
The root key lets the PS3 know that the program that’s about to run on the console is legitimate. With the key in the wild, people can write anything from custom software to pirated games and the console will think it’s has been given the thumbs up from Sony.
A hack like this is bad for Sony because it can’t be fixed, even with a firmware update. If Sony did so, all existing PS3 software would become broken.
So far Sony has said nothing about the hacks which we doubt would ever have happened if the outfit had not tried to keep such a tight rein on its gizmo after being lose.