Custom firmware for the PS3 has been around for two years but as of last week, it can get full access to the PSN.
Sony is cracking down on the use of custom firmware on hacked Playstation 3s to access the Playstation Network.
As a result of a decryption key leak last month, players using a Playstation 3 with custom firmware installed are able to play online alongside regular users. Sony is warning that access to its network could be permanently removed from anyone that is using firmware that is not its standard issued version.
'Consumers running unauthorized or pirated software may have their access to the Playstation Network and access to Sony Entertainment Network services through Playstation 3 system terminated permanently,'
said a Sony spokesperson. ' To avoid permanent termination, consumers must immediately cease using and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from their Playstation 3 systems.'
The use of custom firmware patches the system to allow for copied software to run directly from the console's hard drive. Although various versions of custom firmware have been available for approximately two years on the machine, it was only last month that the PSN access codes, the PS3 lv0 bootloader keys, were leaked, allowing hacked consoles full access online.
Sony has not always been so restrictive as to what can and can not be installed onto its consoles. At its launch in 2006, the Playstation 3 supported Linux, effectively making the console a cheap supercomputer, but this was dropped in 2010. This discontinued Linux support is thought to have converted many legitimate users into hackers and contributed towards further development of custom firmware.