American hacks PlayStation 3; plays PS2 and pirated games?

The PlayStation 3 is one of the hardest consoles to hack. The Wii, Xbox 360, and even the PSP were all hacked early in their lifecycles, yet the PS3 has gone for about three years without a solid hack. That is until an American, who is famous for unlocking the iPhone, found a way to hack Sony’s console.

George Hotz, known as “GeoHot,” told BBC News that it took him only five weeks to hack the PS3. While his technique still needs some refinement, he said he intends to post his exploits on his blog soon.

“It’s supposed to be unhackable – but nothing is unhackable,” he told BBC News. “I can now do whatever I want with the system. It’s like I’ve got an awesome new power – I’m just not sure how to wield it.”

His efforts all started last summer when he spent three weeks analyzing the PS3’s hardware. After several months working on other projects, it took him another two weeks to hack the PS3, which he calls a “very secure system.”

It appears the bulk of his hack is software based. He said he has yet to hack the protected memory, but his hack may allow the console to play pirated or homebrew games, install different operating systems, and even play PlayStation 2 games.

Over on his blog, he wrote, “I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I’ve also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip.”

“3 years, 2 months, 11 days…that’s a pretty secure system,” he wrote.

For its part, Sony said it is investigating the report.