25 Oct 2012

PlayStation 3 Level 0 Security Hack Marks Homebrew Milestone

A hacker group that calls itself "The Three Musketeers" released a set of LV0 codes that render PlayStation 3’s Level 0 security access useless.

The leak enables homebrew developers to write custom firmware for older PS3 models and even build custom software such as game emulators. Each firmware update released by Sony can quickly be patched by the homebrew community.

Decrypting the Level 0 security layer the primary boot loader uses means future firmware updates can be resigned and distributed for older PS3s as well. Emphasizing that future games could be pirated as well, Marcan, one of the players in the fail0verflow exploit, said Sony’s security has taken a serious blow.

"This means that all future firmwares and all future games are decryptable, and this time around they [Sony] really can't do anything about it," said Marcan. "By extension, this means that given the usual cat-and-mouse game of analyzing and patching firmware, every current user of vulnerable or hacked firmware should be able to maintain that state through all future updates, as all future firmwares can be decrypted and patched and resigned for old PS3s."

The security hack doesn’t mean that current firmware is exploitable, explains Marcan, and it’s likely that newer PS3s will probably come with newer boot loaders and “proper signing”.

The PlayStation Network was hacked several times during the past couple of years and, although customer charges against the company were dismissed by a California district judge, their PS3 has taken a serious blow with the exposure of LV0 codes.