Almost everything is connected to the Internet these days. One benefit of that is the availability of data and services almost everywhere. One disadvantage is that it can take little to bring connected devices down. That was the hard truth that PlayStation 4 owners learned over the weekend when a simple message sent through Sony’s PlayStation Network or PSN would cause the console to crash repeatedly. That exploit has reportedly now been fixed but, for some PS4 owners, the damage has already been done.
A few days ago, users have reported receiving a PSN message that put the PS4 into a repeated crashing state. It was so bad that users’ only recourse was to actually factory reset their console, losing whatever data or changes they may have made. Fresh new start for the PS4, but not one that many users would have wanted done that way.
Sony’s PlayStation UK Twitter account shared some good news: the issue has been fixed. Since no firmware update was rolled out since the reports, it can be presumed that the bug and the fix were all done on the PSN server side.
The tweet, however, also offers a fix that would have probably been great if owners knew about it beforehand. Users apparently don’t have to factory reset their consoles. They can simply log into the PlayStation mobile app, presuming they have one, delete the offending message, reboot the PS4 into safe mode and select Option 5.
That offending message apparently used a special character that would cause the PS4 system to crash ad infinitum. This, however, isn’t the first time such an exploit happened in the tech world nor is it probably the last. Apple’s iOS also experienced such a crippling bug and other messaging apps also exhibited a similar vulnerability. This PS4 incident should probably warn other platform makers that it’s not over yet.