Many of the mainstream news sites have picked up on whats being called the lvl0 key leak. This in short means all new future firmware versions that Sony release for the PS3 can and will be decrypted easily by anyone with the correct tools and a PC. This means an end to the difficulties in obtaining the PSN/SEN passphrase used to connect to the PlaystationNetwork. What it also does is open up the PS3 Jailbreak method to all versions of the Playstation from the early Fat and Slims including 3000 (3k) models and even the new 4000 (4k) super slim PS3.
Eurogamer has this to say on the subject
The release of the new custom firmware – and the LV0 decryption keys in paticular – poses serious issues.
While Sony will almost certainly change the PSN passphrase once again in the upcoming 4.30 update, the reveal of the LV0 key basically means that any system update released by Sony going forward can be decrypted with little or no effort whatsoever.
Options Sony has in battling this leak are limited – every PS3 out there needs to be able to decrypt any firmware download package in order for the console to be updated (a 2006 launch PS3 can still update directly to the latest software).
The more mainstream news is taking it even further with BBC World claiming the actual ‘master key’ has been leaked with this statement
Unlocking games consoles is a common way for users to open up the system, but in the past, such efforts have been quickly thwarted.
This hack is equivalent to stealing a master key, say experts.
In the past efforts to jailbreak the PS3 have been countered with the release of firmware able to resecure the console.
A source close to the firm say they are not convinced that the latest hack is any more serious that past ones. An official statement from the console maker is due shortly.
Of course the more mainstream media could be forgiven for this slight tech slip. LV0 keys are different from what would be called the master key as this is key that is unique to each console and built into the hardware itself. So it can not be changed through simple means of a patch. The LV0 key is stored in a similar way though and as such also can not be changed by a software update.
All this was initial brought about by the upcoming release of two Paid methods intended to only enable piracy on the system and nothing more. Similar to the True Blue dongle that was eventually hacked itself there was planned a paid CFW from Blue Disk and the 3k3y blueray drive emulator.
The people behind the initial discovery of the LV0 keys gave a statement to thehackernews who reported the following
The hacker group ‘The Three Musketeers’ claims that they already had the keys for a while but decided not to publish them. The information also came into the hands of another Chinese hacking group called BlueDiskCFW which was about to release the Iv0 keys for a fee. To avoid others earning money with their hack, The Three Musketeers decided to publish the keys themselves
Whatever the behind the scenes going on this means good news for the end user. PS3 Custom Firmware looks to have a long future yet….