Sony takes legal action against group, fail0verflow, over its release of a set of tools which allow illegal copies of PS3 games to run on the console.

Well, it looks like Sony’s lawyers will have a very busy 2011 ahead of them. Barely more than a week after the news about a group of hackers managing to gain access to the PlayStation 3’s  private signatures broke, Sony is once again in the headlines, this time over a lawsuit against the group, fail0verflow. The company is asking for a temporary restraining order to block the distribution of a set of tools which enable pirated games to run on the PS3. Five members of fail0verflow have been named as the defendants.

Fail0ver has written on Twitter  that its aim was to “be able to run Linux with dual-boot into GameOS,
without 3D restrictions, on every PS3 currently out there” rather than
encourage the piracy of games.

But Sony says the tools are in
violation of U.S. copyright law, including the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Already, “pirated
games are being packaged and distributed with these circumvention
devices,” Sony wrote in its filing for a temporary restraining order.

Fail0ver’s programs — called Metldr Keys, dePKG Firmware Decrypter,
3.55 6 Firmware Jailbreak code and Signing Tool — compromise access
control, encryption and digital signature protections that are enabled
in the PS3, Sony wrote. This allows users to simply burn a game to a Blu-Ray disc and with these tools, be able to run the game successfully.

However, unlike previous security circumvention methods that were released on the Internet, Fail0ver’s programs are said to be almost failsafe and impossible to patch. This is because FailOver’s tools make use of a special root key found in the console’s hardware to fool the device into thinking that anything that is being loaded on it is legitimate by nature. And the only way Sony can change the root key is to perform a hardware modification on all released PlayStation 3 consoles, which is both costly and impractical on all levels.

Fail0ver’s hack was released in response to Sony’s removal of a feature which allowed users to install a 3rd party operating system.