Security software experts identified a malicious program targeting Sony Portable game devices that marks the first so-called Trojan found in video game devices, Symantec Corp. said on Thursday.
The world's biggest security software maker said the Trojan represented a low-level threat, only affecting machines users have modified with their own code. A Trojan is a destructive program that masquerades as a harmless application.
"It does not affect the average user," said Eric Chien, a principle software engineer at Symantec. "This is the first time we have seen a Trojan on a gaming device."
He explained the Trojan says it is a file named "EXPLOIT 2G PSP Team V1.RAR" that allows users to run their own code on the Sony devices, but in fact destroys the machine.
Symantec researchers identified the Trojan when monitoring online chat-rooms used by the gaming community. Chien said the discovery is evidence hackers are expanding their targets, reports Reuters.
According to CIO Today, ever since Sony released the first version of the portable gaming device, it has been trying to catch up with developers that use it for custom applications.
Sony designed the PSP for games, to display photos, play music and browse the Internet. Developers have added numerous applications that, for instance, let the device display text files or have it play music streaming of the Internet.
The latest model of the PSP ships with an upgraded 2.0 version of the firmware that blocks users from installing homebrew applications.
But it didn't take long before developers discovered a buffer-overflow vulnerability in the software that allowed them to install the previous 1.5 version of PSP's operating system.
Tools that made it easier to downgrade the software soon started circulating on the internet.
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