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Sony updates firmware on PSP to v2.1

Sony releases official PSP update that ramps up security; gamers warn that fake patch circulating Internet crashes PSPs.

Sony releases official PSP update in Japan that ramps up security; gamers warn that fake patch circulating Internet crashes PSPs.

It's an accepted way of life among techno-wizzes. Company creates software; hackers hack software. Company upgrades software for more security; hackers hack upgraded release. The cyclical pattern continued last week, as Sony released the latest edition of firmware for the PSP, v2.01, for download on its Japanese Web site. Australia's official Sony website for the PSP still only talks about version 2.0. However, Australian users can upgrade to v2.01 now by using the "Network Update" feature on their PSPs.

The new patch apparently doesn't add anything significant in terms of functionality but is instead a response to the potential security issues raised when an amateur programmer found a weakness in version 2.0. The downloadable patch is currently intended only for Japanese PSPs, and there is no word yet of games being unplayable without this latest version installed.

While the crack of version 2.0 was not intended to be malicious (the author of the crack said: "This release wasn't intended as a way to run pirated software on the PSP. We believe that everyone should be able to compile their own code and run it."), it appears another group of PSP users isn't so kind. Web site and PSP watchdog PSP Updates is warning PSP users that a fake patch has been circulating the Net, and the faux update does nothing but render the handheld useless.

"For anyone who has seen a 'patcher' floating around the net by PSP Team. Its [sic]fake. It will brick your PSP and will void your warranty," reads a message on the site. It should be noted, however, that PSP Team has not been tagged as the creator of the file and could be the victim of a frame job.

One of the team members who found the security hole in Firmware 2.0 disassembled the binary and found these messages in the file's code: "Your 2.0 is hacked please reboot. Thank you PSP Team the french team. F*** yoshihiro and SonyxTeam Looser." (Editor's note: "F***" replaces an expletive.)

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