Following on from last week's news that the Sony PlayStation 3's private cryptography key comes word that the key itself has been published online for anyone who knows that to do with it. The doors are open for homebrew software & applications as well as retail game piracy and rampant cheating. I could easily get on my ranting soapbox regarding this issue, but instead I'll just direct you to VG247's remarks:
If true, this new release apparently means that users can now develop homebrew apps, bootloaders and more, and digitally sign them to the PS3 with no risk of a Firmware update to close the hole. The move allows apps like XMBC, which plays old SNES games, to be used on PS3. The publication of the codes could also have major implications for piracy. Assuming the release is legitimate, users can now circumvent any kind of restriction Sony may issue to stop downloaded games running on the machine.
For all of you out there chomping to get started on this, I implore you to use this new capability responsibly. If this new power is abused on a wide scale, then it's going to kill the PS3 market for everyone. One of my friends once told me that he makes a point of modding all of his consoles at the end of each hardware lifecycle so he can get the most out of them. His perspective is that the various companies have made their money on the hardware by that point, and since the console in question has been discontinued, he sees no real harm in it. It's hard to argue with that, but anything that tampers with still-active hardware and software is going to hurt us all in the end one way or another. Call it a "sky is falling" overreaction if you want, but we've seen it all happen before to other platforms that have ease-of-piracy associated with them. We'll have more on this issue on the next episode of the Press The Buttons video show (which we taped yesterday, so bear with us if the segment about this story already seems a little out of date).