A new text-messaging exploit can potentially brick your PlayStation 4. Here’s how to keep it from happening.
If you’re a PlayStation 4 gamer, you’re going to want to change your text-message settings. A new hack can potentially kill your entire system without warning, and unscrupulous gamers are using it to give themselves a leg-up in multiplayer games.
The hack looks deceptively harmless. The entire message is just “Juegas [?]” with a heart emoji at the end. The question mark inside the box indicates some sort of character that the PlayStation software doesn’t recognize and thus can’t display. You don’t even need to read the message for the exploit to work, as soon after receiving it the PlayStation hardware starts to freeze up.
Whatever that character is, it possesses terrible power as it can brick your console and require a factory reset. This will eliminate all your save data if you haven’t uploaded it to the cloud and require you to re-download and/or reinstall all your games.
According to Polygon, numerous users have been hit already, so this is no joke. Sony has yet to issue an official statement on the exploit, but users have already developed the best way to protect you and your PlayStation.
The safest way to deal with the exploit is to log in to your account via an external web browser or the PlayStation app. Navigate to your Personal Info/Messaging settings and set them to either “friends only” or “no one”.
You can also update from the console as well. Under Settings, go to Account Management, then Privacy Settings, and finally Personal Info/Messaging. Again, set your preferences to be either “friends only” or “no one”. This will prevent people from sending texts to your console.
The alert comes from a Reddit user that reported having the exploit used on their entire team in Rainbow Six: Siege. The exploit caused everyone on the team’s PS4 to brick itself and require a factory reset. All but one, who had their message settings set to private.
Do yourself a favor and follow these steps to protect your hardware--especially if you play any competitive online games.