Sony is not doing itself any favours with the homebrew community. After putting a restraining order on the PS3 root key hacker, George Hotz aka Geohot, it has come to light that Sony may have intentionally planted a backdoor on its latest firmware.
According to JailBreakScene, PS3 firmware version 3.56 has a rootkit which allows Sony to, essentially, do whatever it likes to you or your account when your PS3 connects to the PlayStation Network. “It seems Sony has implemented something in 3.56 I mentioned here a few weeks ago that is the same as Microsoft uses to detect and ban 360s,” user N.A. says.
It’s a slippery path to take but it hasn’t hurt the majority of Microsoft’s consumer base as yet.
Then again, Microsoft has u-turned with its stance on the homebrew and developing community, recently saying the hacking of its Kinect drivers is a-ok.
Reports say that Sony hasn’t activated its backdoor yet but the capabilities are sitting there in the official, latest firmware. Most likely won’t be affected, but striking down the banhammer on an enthusiastic community that is, when stripped down, a fan of the hardware may alienate homebrewers.
JailBreakScene suggests that the code can be patched out or removed entirely.
What it intends to do – or even if Sony intends to use the function at all – remains to be seen.