PS4s Being Locked by Malicious Text Messages, Sony Promises Update to Fix the Issue

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Oct 15, 2018
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PS4 owners who haven’t already set their messages to private should probably do so as soon as possible. Over the weekend PS4 owners on Reddit and elsewhere have reported receiving messages from an unknown source that locked their consoles. Victims all seem to be telling the same story – they got a message, consisting of nothing but a question mark, which caused their controller to stop working, and when they reset, their PS4 got stuck in an error loop. Unfortunately, you don’t even have to open the message for it to have its nasty effect – just receiving it is enough.

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So, how do you avoid this issue? Well, again, set you PS4 messages to private (go to Settings > Account Management > Privacy Settings to do that). If you’ve already been affected by the malicious message, there are a couple things you can try:

  1. Download the PlayStation Messages mobile app (iOS or Android) and delete the offending messages from there. Restart the console and, hopefully, you’ll be back up and running.
  2. If you’re still having issues, you may want to try putting the PS4 into Safe Mode (hold the power button for 7 seconds until it double-beeps) and rebuilding the database.

Some people are reporting the only way to fix the issue is to do a factory reset, but that’s a rather extreme measure (it will delete everything on the hard drive). As of this morning, Sony has issued the following statement about the issue

“We are aware of the situation and are planning a system software update to resolve this problem.”

…so you’re probably best off waiting for the official fix before you push the nuclear button and wipe your PS4’s hard drive.

Anybody out there been effected by this exploit? If so, have you tried any of the fixes? Have they been successful for you? We’ll update this story as new info/an official fix is released.

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