The PSP has become a target of malware, with the creation of of a "Trojan horse" program that renders the machines inoperable
. This Trojan poses as an illicit patch that can be used to bypass the controls that lock out unauthorised games, but in fact it deletes four critical system files, rendering the infected device useless.
Researchers at antivirus firm Symantec say the Trojan, dubbed Trojan.PSPBrick, was found circulating on gaming web sites last week. PSP users who unwittingly install it will see the message "Your PSP 2.0 is hacked, please reboot" pop up on the screen of their console. However, efforts to restart the gadget are likely to end in frustration.