Malicious messages reportedly crashing PlayStation 4 consoles

PS4 users warned to set messages to private after receiving message that bricks their console

Some are having to factory reset their consoles, but some have been able to avoid doing that by installing the Sony PS4 Messaging app on their smartphone, and deleting the offending message using the app before they power their console on and sign into the PlayStation Network. Others have reported similar problems after receiving a message with unrecognized characters. Reports began to circulate on Reddit about the console-breaking bug, which apparently comes in the form of an unintelligible message that's appearing in the inboxes of some PS4s. As a result, this is being used as an exploit in multiplayer games, where players use a dummy account to send the message to opponents, in turn crashing their console and getting them kicked from the match.

Taking those steps will prevent anyone from sending you the problematic message.

This exploit seems to work by including characters that go larger than the limit in memory given to a message, if the message doesn't fit in that allocated buffer then it could overflow into just about any other piece of memory within the system. Messaging, and set Messages to either Friends (if you trust them) or No One. That won't fix your console if you've already been hit by the messaging bug, however. Where the PS Messages app/database rebuild option preserves all the data on your console's hard drive, a factory reset wipes everything.

- On the PS4, just navigate to Settings Account Management Privacy Settings Personal Info/Messaging, and set Messages to either "friends only" or "no one".

Kotaku has reached out to Sony for comment but they did not respond in time for publication.

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