Update: Sony is apparently working on a fix for the bug that has been reported by PS4 users as crashing their consoles, a Sony spokesperson has told ZDNet. The website reports that the Japanese company says that it is aware of the issue and investigating the matter. In the meantime, the company has advised that users modify their privacy settings and disallow other users from sending them messages until the supposed vulnerability is patched and a fix is rolled out.
There seems to be a malicious message being circulated causing the Sony PS4 to crash. Several PS4 owners reportedly experienced a system crash after receiving an anonymous message, apparently with a bug embedded in it.
A number of them have taken to Reddit to warn others about the Sony PS4 crash message bug, and to set their PS4 messages to ‘friends only’ or to disable them entirely. Apparently, a private message containing special characters is the causing the PS4 consoles to crash. In fact, the message impacts the system immediately after it is received, even if it is not opened.
Once a PS4 console is affected by this message bug, the only course of action that users apparently have is to factory reset their consoles. This means that they have to install all their games again. One Reddit user reported that “even deleting the message from mobile app doesn’t work”. Sony is yet to respond to this issue.
If you’ve not been hit by this yet, the best way to protect your PS4 is to set your messages to private. This, of course, is a user-suggested solution and there’s no official patch yet. Here’s how to protect your PS4 from the malicious message reportedly being circulated:
Go to Settings > Account Management > Privacy Settings > Enter your password > Personal Info | Messaging, and set messages to either Friends or No One.
While issues like this have plagued smartphones in the past, this could be the first time we’re seeing a console’s messaging system exploited.