According to multiple threads over on Reddit, there's a potentially devastating issue on PlayStation 4 right now, and it stems from simple messages. Users say that receiving certain messages can 'brick' your console, effectively breaking the system. We're not totally clued up on the technical details yet, but the bottom line is that right now, a factory reset of your PS4 -- which deletes all of your data -- is the only guaranteed way to get your console up and running again.
From what we understand, this is a text-based exploit. Someone who wants to brick your console simply sends you a message that your PS4 can't read or recognise, and it crashes the system. Some users are claiming that deleting said message through the PlayStation mobile app fixes the issue, but others suggest that it doesn't always work.
If you're worried about this happening to you or someone you know, you can take steps to prevent it. We've listed these steps below.
- Go to Settings on the main PS4 menu
- Go to Account Management
- Go to Privacy Settings
- Go to Personal Info | Messaging
- Go to Messages
- Set it to either Friends Only or No One to ensure that strangers can't message you
Hopefully we have more concrete information to go on soon, but until then, let us know if you've been hit by this in the comments section below.
Update: Sony says that it's aware of the issue, and a fix is coming soon via a PS4 firmware update.