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Hacker promises to circumvent Playstation 3 firmware update

A couple of days back, we posted an article about the Playstation 3’s upcoming update which claims to disable the OtherOS feature on the console for “security concerns”. Today, a hacker has announced plans to work on custom firmware that will restore the removed feature.

Read on for more information.

In what must be good news for Playstation 3 owners who were outraged at Sony’s decision to pull the plug on the removal of the OtherOS feature that was present in the old, non-slim PS3s, the hacker known as GeoHot who announced his success at cracking the console’s security system sometime back has revealed that he plans to release custom firmware that will restore the feature, along with continued access to the Playstation Network and online gaming.

This comes at a time when Sony annouced that their upcoming software update will not only disable the OtherOS feature. Now, that would probably not have been so much of a problem if it was the only feature that was being targeted, but Sony also claimed that while the update was “strictly voluntary”, those who choose to bypass the firmware update will find themselves locked out of almost all online gaming services and even newer games which may depend on the newer firmware for operation.

In other words, Sony is politely saying that choosing not to install the voluntary update will result in a console that is only good for playing old games and functioning as a oversized paperweight.

While GeoHot claims no malicious intent in the custom firmware that he’s developing for the console, it is still going to open a can of worms: even if GeoHot has no intention of supporting piracy at all, more knowledge in the hands of the hacker community can only mean that it will be a matter of time before someone with enough time on his hands manages to find a way to circumvent the console’s security and starts releasing downloadable code that allows for playing pirated games, a situation which all console manufacturers, and not just Sony, do not want to get into.

We have yet to determine whether the planned update is going to be nothing more than just a very cruel April Fool’s joke, but GeoHot is advising people not to update their consoles while he tries to toy around with the firmware and hopefully, in the process, re-enable the Other OS feature while still retaining access to the Playstation Network and all online services.

Source: Ars Technica

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