The PS3 has been hacked yet again giving users a way to run unsigned code and burned discs on the system. The hack is being called JB2 and is a successor to the original PSJailbreak that caused lawsuits which indirectly led to the PlayStation Network hack last April.
In very similar fashion to PSJailbreak, JB2 is loaded onto a USB dongle which is plugged into the PS3. The software that lives on this dongle compromises the PS3 during its boot up sequence. Once the XMB finally appears after an extended boot period there are a number of options available to the user that currently only exist on developer machines. Those options include the ability to load unsigned code onto the box.
The process is shown in a video that was recently posted to YouTube. In addition to allowing unsigned code to be loaded on the PS3, the hack also lets users run pirated games either from the hard drive or from a burned Blu-ray. Interestingly enough only certain games will run from the hard drive of the machine. If the game was released before the v3.60 firmware was released it can be installed to the hard drive and run from there. Any game released after v3.60 must be run from a physical disc in the PS3 but that disc can be a burned copy. A particular disc format must be used in order for the system to recognize the game.
The dongles are currently being sold as a test run in Indonesia for what amounts to about $50. If this hack ends up being real these dongles will quickly spread out of Indonesia and become much more widely available. One has to wonder whether or not the software will be made available to be loaded onto any USB stick to avoid Sony getting involved to block the sale of the dongles in other countries.
Whether or not this is truly real is still unknown but it seems legit from the available video. This is going to force Sony to work to disable this method and could result in another round of lawsuits if Sony discovers who is behind this. It will be interesting to see how quickly this spreads outside of Indonesia.