Even as Sony struggles to re-launch its compromised PlayStation Network and Qriocity services in the face of criticism from frustrated customers and politicians alike, hackers continue working towards a more open and malleable PlayStation 3.
Today, that legally gray mission bore fruit: OtherOS has been returned to the gaming console via modded firmware.
The custom firmware – titled “OtherOS++” – was ostensibly a joint effort.
Hacker news site PS3MFW attributed the work to newcomer Geoffrey Levand (an alias, they claim) who built upon previous headway made by embattled hacking veteran graf_chokolo (real name: Alexander Egorenkov) before he was sued by Sony.
Egorenkov’s development blog was shut down last month after SCEE allegedly threatened to hit the hacker with a €250,000 fine and a possible 6-month jail sentence. The Germany-based hacker has also been served with two TROs for his PlayStation 3 reverse engineering and Linux research – the first delivered during a police raid in February, and the latest filed in April.
Never one to remain quite, Egorenkov shared his opinion on the company’s ongoing predicament in the comment section of his blog.
“Sony is the ONLY one here to blame for PSN problems,” he wrote. “They are responsible for our private data and they were incompetent, reckless and careless. Instead of spending tons of money on their army of lawyers they should hire better programmers and security staff.”
PS3MFW offered a warning for those eager to install the workaround: “We did not test this release yet, we will let you know all about it in more details once we give it a try. In the meantime, be cautious and if you don’t know what you’re doing, then don’t do it. You wouldn’t want to end up with a brick, right?”
Independent research group gitbrew.org, which hosts work covering a wide variety of hardware, originally published the OtherOS++ news.
Sony removed the OtherOS feature via firmware update last year citing security concerns. The decision resulted in a backlash from Linux aficionados, rallied the PS3 hacking community and stirred up class-action lawsuits.
MyCE reached out to Mr. Egorenkov for comment and clarification, but have yet to receive a response.