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Earlier this week in Shanghai the security contest called GeekPwn took place. GeekPwn has been happening since 2014 and is a way for security focused hackers to compete and show off their skills for the chance at a prize. It was at GeekPwn that a web browser exploit was found that could allow the PlayStation 4 to run Linux.

In a video released by the Pavilion Safety Research Lab, after a short opening sketch, we see the exploit dubbed Ksploit in action. The PlayStation 4 in the video, running the 4.01 version of the firmware goes to a website through the built-in browser and then transitions to a command line. Once the Linux build has begun on the PlayStation 4 emulated games such as Super Mario Bros. can be played using the DualShock 4.

Losing no time Sony has already rolled out a patch to this exploit to try to limit the amount of Linux running PlayStation 4’s but the exploitable firmware is the same as the out of the box software that will be coming with the PlayStation 4 Pro. This might mean that Linux can be run on the new mid-generation update to the PlayStation line.

You can watch the full video by the Pavilion Safety Research Lab below, at this point in time there are no English subtitles but you can still see the exploit in progress. Skip to 1:20 if you want to get right to the exploit.


Quick Take

It’s interesting to see that once again exploits are being found on PlayStation Hardware, this isn’t even the first web browser based exploit. A similar trick is used to install HENkaku onto the PS Vita and last year we even saw a web browser exploit used to load any Gameboy game into the 3DS virtual console. While Sony might not be good at covering all their bases but their speed at fixing any of these holes has gotten a lot better over the years.

What do you think of the PlayStation 4 running Linux? Worth it, or is there no point?


Andrew Stretch

Events Coordinator

I have been playing all kinds of games for as long as I can remember with a particular interest in action adventure and platforming titles. While I am primarily an Xbox gamer I also spend a fair bit of time on the PS4 and on my PC in VR.