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Playstation/Sony PS4 Users Warned To Set Messages To Private After Exploit Discovered

Major Tom

Major Tom

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PlayStation 4 users are being warned to set their messages to private due to an exploit making the rounds.

PS4 users are warning others that a private message being sent contains characters, that when viewed, force players to factory reset their consoles in order to get it working again.

And it’s not just opening of the message that does it: just receiving the notification can be enough to force a reset “depending on how much of the message it parses.”

According to various reddit users, even deleting the message from the mobile app doesn’t work. One user had it happen while playing Rainbow Six: Siege.

“A player from the other team used a dummy account to send the message and crashed my entire team,” said reddit user Huntstark. “We all have had to factory reset. Only one of our guys wasn’t affected and he has his messages private.”

According to user BorgDrone, basically, someone can ‘brick’ another’s PS4 just by using “a message designed to exploit a mistake in the code.”

Sony hasn’t issued a warning as of press time, but just to be safe, SET YOUR MESSAGES TO PRIVATE on your PS4 for now.

Here is how to set messages to private in case you don’t know how, courtesy of Gunrun:

Go to Settings > Account Management > Privacy Settings > Enter your password > Personal Info | Messaging, and set Messages to either Friends (if you trust them) or No One.

He goes on to explain how this works in technical terms on the reddit thread.
 
Gemma

Gemma

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If you're worried about this happening to you or someone you know, you can take steps to prevent it.
  1. Go to Settings on the main PS4 menu
  2. Go to Account Management
  3. Go to Privacy Settings
  4. Go to Personal Info | Messaging
  5. Go to Messages
  6. Set it to either Friends Only or No One to ensure that strangers can't message you
Not heard anything from Sony to confirm this yet though.
 
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Major Tom

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Sony has finally said it is aware of the issue and is working on a fix. “We are aware of the situation and are planning a system software update to resolve this problem,”

For now, the best way to protect yourself is to set your messages to private by following the steps listed in the posts above.
 

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