What’s next for the PS3 hack scene?

It has been a mere two months since the PS3 was cracked for the first time in the four-year life span of the game console. Since then, Sony has quite effectively shut down the PSJailbreak and all subsequent related hacks using both legal and technical measures.

So what means will hackers try next in the quest to again mod the PS3 for backup gaming and homebrew app capabilities?

What's next for the PS3 hack scene?

Rumors have begun surfacing over at Dukio.com that the development team for the PSJailbreak has obtained access, possibly from a former Sony employee, to the new decryption keys implemented in the latest PS3 firmware upgrades. If true, this could open up new possibilities for the PS3 hacking scene and would be a new challenge for Sony to shut down.

According to PSJailbreak, they are undaunted by Sony’s smackdowns and have some new tricks up their sleeve that they will be unveiling to customers this week. “We will officially be releasing our support for new firmwares by October 20th, and Backup Manager v1.1 a few days after. It will have all the features that clone makers have been providing, along with some new ones that will blow you all away.”

But according to some, the PS3 hasn’t truly been hacked yet.

“In order to really hack the PS3 like the PSP, hackers must get through the Hypervisor, which is the lowest level of security on the hardware,” Says Mike Ferro of Gamer.Blorge. “Believe it or not the Hypervisor security layer runs on the PPE (core processor) and uses one the reserved SPE (SPU). This SPE is isolated in a way so that even the main core PPE can’t even access it.”

“The single SPE uses the hardware root key to decrypt the encryption code while being tied to a random ID generator. This is probably one of the most complex security systems ever invented utilizing one of the Cell SPUs to handle decryption in isolation mode.”

A method to undermine the Hypervisor security layer was underway by young hacker George Hotz, AKA GeoHot, but Hotz “retired” from the hacking scene in July before breaking through the protected memory on the system.

Despite Hotz’s exit from the scene, there are likely several others out there currently working to break through the complex hardware-level security of the PS3 and it’s only a matter of time before someone figures it out. Until then, we’ll be watching to see what PSJailbreak and company has in store later this week.