PS3 Firmware 3.56 Brings Bans to 'Black Ops' Hackers

Call of Duty Black Ops Bans Firmware 3.56

Retribution can been a fine thing. For those frustrated by the hacking going on since the PS3 was jail-broken earlier this month, there comes some solace in the form of Firmware 3.56. The mandatory firmware upgrade was touted by Sony as a "security upgrade" to address the issue of their compromised root key, but it also did something else. Call of Duty: Black Ops players who have been hacking are being dealt permanent bans from the Black Ops servers.

This may come as a relief to some, as Activision had previously hinted at considering shutting down the PS3's Black Ops servers as a viable means of dealing with the issues plaguing online play on the platform. The Black Ops forums, however, have been riddled with posts from banned players asking about their ban and whether or not it can be overturned. As of yet, no one has had their account unbanned by Treyarch, which may be a sign that hacking is being taken very seriously by the developer.

Now, before everyone holds hands together in the streets and start singing songs of praise for Firmware 3.56, it might not be long before this new security patch is cracked. A hacker by the name of Youness Alaoui claimed on twitter that he had already accessed the new PS3 Keys. He then went on to respond to requests he was receiving saying that while he was able to get access to the keys, he hasn't been able to sign any files with the upgraded firmware.

This could be a testament to the resiliency of the new PS3 firmware update or it might just mean that hackers will need a little more time to work out the particulars. In the meantime, Sony has attempted to stop the distribution of the keys themselves with a DMCA against Youness Alaoui's hosting provider, GitHub. This may prove ineffectual as hackers have not only put the key up on other hosting sites, they are now also distributing the keys in the form of an image.

How do you feel about the Black Ops bans and Sony's continued efforts to stop hackers from using their console as they see fit? Is Sony justified in trying to protect its platform, or being unduly unfair to those that would like to develop their own custom software for it?

Source: Ripten, Edge,

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