The recent breaking of the Playstation 3's hardware encryption by a team of hackers is an unexpected windfall for Playstation owners seeking to run homebrewed apps and games on their machine, but it's proving disastrous for fans of 2009 best-seller Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Buy | Search).
The hackers' work, which allows savvy PS3 owners to run non-Sony-approved code on their machines, has resulted in a wave of cheaters and hackers targeting older Call of Duty titles, leaving them "in total shambles and unplayable," as one fan told Joystiq.com.
Some of those who happened upon hacked servers have suffered permanent consequences, including the deletion of all their accumulated multiplayer stats and experience -- and according to the Call of Duty team, players can expect the situation to continue.
"Games rely on the security of the encryption on the platforms they're played on, therefore updates to the game through patches will not resolve this problem completely, unless the security exploit itself is resolved on the platform," Activision's Robert Bowling said, posting under his "fourzerotwo" handle on the game's official forums.
"However, that doesn't mean we're not going to look into every option available to us," Bowling continued. "Regretfully, Call of Duty games are receiving the bulk of the hacker's attention, due to its high player counts and popularity. However, the number of legitimate players severely outweighs the bad apples."
Concerned players, according to Bowling, should only play with friends until Sony addresses the PS3's security weakness.
"If you are concerned about playing with players who are hacking, I encourage you to play exclusively with friends by utilizing the party or private match options in Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty 4 to avoid such players as much as possible until this issue is resolved by Sony. "
Activision's most recent Call of Duty release, Black Ops, does not rely solely on Sony's built-in encryption, and is thought to be substantially less vulnerable to the new wave of hacks.