In an unforeseen twist that may result in some cool homebrew and mods, Fail0verflow, known for hacking the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and pretty much every other modern console under the sun, has announced that the PlayStation 5 has been hacked. "PlayStation 5 hacked" is not something I expected to say anytime soon, if at all, but here we are just over a year after the PlayStation 5's launch.
Outside of the PlayStation 5, the video game industry has been on the receiving end of hacks for as long as the industry has been around. Every console has been hacked at some point, and developers and publishers such as CD Projekt Red, Nintendo, and Capcom have all had to deal with hackers at one point or another. Now it looks like it's Sony's turn.
How was the PlayStation 5 hacked?
No one knows except Fail0verflow. This is the only thing the hacking group showed us of the hack itself:
While this seems like arcane sorcery to many of us, Wololo has been covering this type of thing for ages so they have a fairly good explanation of what exactly happened:
Fail0verflow have confirmed in a follow-up tweet that 1) they have all the PS5 root keys, 2) those are symmetric (meaning encryption/decryption) and 3) they can all be obtained via software means.
To break it down even further, Fail0verflow can access what was previously thought of as highly secure locations within the PS5, and it can be done through software. They didn't even have to use tweezers or some other crazy hardware hacks.
There's no ETA on Fail0verflow releasing this yet, and it's currently a standing question on whether or not we'll actually see a public release of this. Because while some people (like moi) see this as a great opportunity to really dig into the PS5 to see what it can do, piracy becomes a major use for hacked consoles. To help prevent that Fail0verflow has generally not released their hacks information until the console has been patched to address the issue. Beyond piracy thought, this would allow custom firmware that could run different browsers, programs, homebrew, and allow people to further understand the internal workings of the PS5 hardware.
It's pretty cool that this has happened, and we hope to see Fail0verflow release more information when they deem the appropriate time has come - probably following a PS5 firmware update.