PSP gamers on red alert

Symantec is warning all PlayStation Portable (PSP) users to beware of a new trojan, which cripples Sony’s PSP system, making it nothing more than a showpiece gadget.

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  October 9, 2005

Symantec is warning all PlayStation Portable (PSP) users to beware of a new trojan, which cripples Sony’s PSP system, making it nothing more than a showpiece gadget. According to the security specialist, the trojan is currently masquerading online as a downloadable hack that allows PSP users to run homebrew games (games coded by users to run on Sony’s PSP system) or pirated apps on the device. However, once users install the file the trojan deletes system files and makes the PSP unbootable. According to Channelregister.co.uk, some gamers have already been infected after downloading the mod from online gaming forums and running it on their PSP. Symantec has classified the Trojan.PSPBrick as a Category 1 threat (Category 5 being the worst), as it cannot spread to other devices. However, Symantec says that there haven’t been any confirmed reports of infections from Sony as yet. Sony Gulf’s spokespeople meanwhile were unavailable for comment. Sony officially launched its PSP in the Middle East region last month and the Japanese firm says its device is protected so that users can only run Sony-approved games and applications. In effect this means that users may have to look elsewhere to resurrect their infected PSPs, as any damage resulting from hacks won’t be covered by their PSP warranties. “Although this device is new to the region, what this demonstrates is the increasing trend towards threats on non-traditional devices, and this can impact users in the Middle East as much as anyone in the rest of the world, as the downloads are available on the internet,” stated Kevin Isaac, regional director Symantec MENA. “We would advise users to think carefully about what they are downloading, and whether endangering their new PSP is worth the risk.” Symantec’s experts are currently analysing the attack in order to protect PSP users from future threats.

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