There’s a nice series of articles by xorloser on reproducing the recent PS3 hypervisor hack. He used a microcontroller to send the glitch and improved the software exploit to work on multiple firmware revisions. Here’s a picture of his final setup.
It remains to be seen what security measures Sony has taken to address a hypervisor compromise. One countermeasure would be to lock down the OtherOS environment, since the attack depends on the ability to manipulate low-level OS memory structures. They could be using a simpler hypervisor than the GameOS side (say, one that just prevents access to the GPU). Perhaps the SPEs have a disable bit that turns off the hardware decryption unit, and the hypervisor does this before booting OtherOS.
Beyond this, they may not be using a single global key that is shared amongst all SPEs. Broadcast encryption schemes have long been used in the pay TV industry to allow fine-grained revocation of keys that have leaked. They work by embedding a subset of keys from a matrix or tree in each device. If the keys leak, they can be excluded from subsequent software releases. This requires attackers to keep extracting keys and discarding the devices as they are revoked.
Also, it’s possible there are software protection measures in place. For example, the SPE could request hashes of regions of the calling hypervisor and use this to detect patching. This results in a cat-and-mouse game where firmware updates (or even individual games) use different methods of detecting attackers. Meanwhile, attackers would try to come up with new ways to avoid these countermeasures. This has already been happening in the Xbox 360 world, as well as with nearly every other game console before now.
We’ll have to wait and see if Sony used this kind of defense-in-depth and planned for this eventuality or built a really tall wall with nothing more behind it.