Update: Though there has been no public announcement of a fix for the issue when asked to the PlayStation Support Twitter account for the UK responded that the issue has been resolved and that it wasn’t technically bricking any PlayStation 4’s, just forcing them into a crash loop. The Ask PlayStation UK support agent then listed the internally recommended steps for resolving this issue.
We've since fixed the issue, and it wasn't bricking consoles, just sending them into a crash loop that can be quickly fixed in under 5 minutes. Delete the message on the PS mobile app, go into Safe Mode, use Option 5, console back to normal. ^DB
— Ask PlayStation UK (@AskPS_UK) October 15, 2018
Original Story: If only it wasn’t just bots on PSN that users need to worry about it seems that there is a new kind of messaging exploit that can be used by other players as a way to temporarily brick your console. The message can come at any time to your system and can be sent by anyone, at this point in time the only protection if you haven’t had the message sent to you is to make sure your messages are set to private.
This exploit works by sending a message that contains a special character in it, the message will simply arrive at your PlayStation 4 as “Juegas ⍰ ♡”, it doesn’t even take opening the app for the issue to occur as you’ll find your system locking up before hard crashing. Most cases of it that were documented in the Reddit thread where the issue was first brought up have found that there are a couple of steps that can be taken to resolve this issue. You’ll want to:
- Delete the message from your PSN account using the smartphone app or web browser at PlayStation.com
- Hold down the power button on your PS4 for 7 seconds until you hear a beep and it boots into safe mode
- Select “Rebuild Database”
- When your PS4 loads up you should be good to go
Some users have reported that the above steps haven’t solved their problems so they’ve had to restore their system to factory settings. Be warned if you do this and you don’t have your save games backed up in the cloud they will be lost.
Reddit users seemed to all have stories beginning similarly with “I was beating these guys in x online game” before they received the message. Some even had screenshots of the message on their phones showing the users first threatening players and giving them an ultimatum before sending the message if they didn’t comply.
For those that currently haven’t been affected by the messages and want to make sure they can continue playing online without fear of a sore loser sending them this message should do as follows:
- Navigate to PlayStation Settings
- Account Management
- Privacy Settings
- Login using your password
- Personal Info | Messaging
- Ensure your message preference are set to “Friends” or to “No One”
This exploit seems to work by including characters that go larger than the limit in memory given to a message, if the message doesn’t fit in that allocated buffer then it could overflow into just about any other piece of memory within the system.
We’ve reached out to Sony for further information and will update this article if more information becomes available.
What do you think about PlayStation having such an exploit in their system? Have you or someone you know had your PS4 bricked? What do you think Sony’s response to those that use this exploit be? Share your thoughts in the comments below!