Hacker Claims To Have The PS3's Front Door Keys

Famed hacker George "GeoHot" Hotz, who among other things helped crack the iPhone, reckons he's found what are essentially the keys to the PlayStation 3. And has posted them online for the world to see.

While a 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".

The root key is a signature of sorts, that lets the PS3 know that the program that's about to run on the console is a legitimate piece of software. If it's now out there, then once people start messing around with it, they'll be able to whip up anything - be that custom software or pirated games - and trick the console into thinking it's OK to load.

Crucially, because this key lies at the very heart of the PS3 hardware itself, it appears that if it has been cracked, it will be almost impossible to repair (even via firmware updates), as altering the existing key would run the risk of rendering all existing PS3 software inoperable.

Meanwhile, the team from last week's news - fail0verflow - have as promised released some "PS3 development tools" for hackers to mess around with. If the homebrew scene is your scene, and you'd like to take a look at what the PS3 can do without Sony calling the shots, you can find those here.

We've contacted Sony for comment and clarification, and will update if we hear back.

[geohot]