Sony's PS3 bans circumventable, hackers claim

Sony's latest attempts to prevent the use of third-party code on its PlayStation 3 console appear to be dead in the water, if the claims of hacker groups are to be believed.

The company recently made its first public statement on the matter of custom firmwares on its PlayStation 3 console, warning users that they risk being banned from the PlayStation Network and Sony's Qriocity video-on-demand service if they install unapproved code.

Now, the hackers are fighting back with claims that the unprecedented access permitted by the leaking of the PS3's private key allows them to quickly unban consoles - and even ban an innocent third party's device in retaliation.

According to Destructoid, the hackers' latest creation allows the unique ID of a console to be tampered with in order to change the perceived identity of the device on Sony's network. As the bans apparently rely on blocking a console's unique ID, this offers a quick workaround to the issue.

In worse news for Sony, the same technique would allow a console running custom firmware to masquerade as an innocent user's stock-firmware console - so when the modified console gets banned, so too does the innocent user.

While the 'human shield' scenario isn't as straightforward as it sounds - it would rely on the hackers knowing the unique ID of another, unmodified console - it's yet another headache that stands in Sony's way as it fights to jam the DRM genie back into the bottle.