Can Sony ban gamers that hack PS3 without them connecting to PSN?

Sony has decided to voraciously go after the people that offer up hacks and mods for the PS3 console this week after some hacks have surfaced that render existing Sony security on the PS3 moot. The latest hack of the PS3 came from Geohot and landed him in hot water with Sony suing him for circumventing the security on the console despite the fact that bypassing security doesn't mean the user is a pirate.

Some have speculated that if a user hacks their PS3 using the Geohot or other hacks to bypass security, as long as they don't connect to the PSN Sony will have no way to know that the console has been hacked and therefore won't be able to ban the console. As it turns out there is evidence that this is not the case.

A user going by the name NeoGAF has posted that when port sniffing his machine he found that the PS3 contacts Sony servers if there is a web connection as soon as the machine is turned on. That would allow Sony to know that the console has been hacked and ban the machine if wanted. There is also some speculation that Sony could push updates to all consoles as well. Sony has already said that it plans to fix the security breach these hacks take advantage of with a series of updates.

Via Computer and Video Games