Trojan software trashes PlayStation Portable

A new Trojan program masquerading as a hack for the Playstation Portable, actually renders the system inoperable.

PlayStation Portable users looking to modify their gaming system so it can run software that has not been approved by Sony may find themselves running nothing at all. Ever.

According to researchers at security vendor, Symantec, a new Trojan dubbed Trojan.PSPBrick, has begun circulating on online gaming sites. Once installed, the software will delete important system files in version 2.0 of the PlayStation Portable's firmware, turning the handheld games into inoperable machines, called "bricks" by gamers.

The Trojan masquerades as a nifty software hack that can be used to disable the PlayStation Portable's software protection mechanism, senior manager with Symantec's Security Response team, Dean Turner, said. "Once a user installs that Trojan, it deletes four critical files from the machine and a message comes up that says, 'Your PSP 2.0 is hacked, please reboot.'"

Without the system files, however, the PlayStations simply cannot be restarted, he said.

It appears as though the attack serves no purpose, other than to disable the gaming device, and though the software is in circulation, it is not widespread.

Symantec rates the attack a Category 1 threat, its least serious rating. The company has heard of no confirmed cases of PlayStation Portables being taken down with the software, Turner said.

The Trojan is the first attack that Turner has seen targeting the Playstation Portable platform. But with the rising amount of downloaded software running on gaming consoles, it's unlikely to be the last, he said.

"Attackers are going to start looking at gaming platforms because more and more of these devices are becoming interconnected," Turner said. "It's an evolution that we think has been coming for some time. The sky isn't falling, but it's certainly a natural evolution."

Symantec's alert can be found here

More details on the Trojan can be found here.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?