If you own a PlayStation 4, you should perhaps be more concerned about safety than usual now. Reports coming from Reddit and other social media platforms have pointed at the existence of a malicious message that’s apparently crashing the consoles.
The malware comes in the form of a PSN message, containing a string of unrecognized characters. The problem is also thought to be a serious one rather than being a mere prank as these messages often are.
Once the message is opened, it causes the PlayStation 4 to either go into Safe Mode or probably enter an unrecoverable state. In that case, the only option available is to factory reset the console, and lose data. Deleting the message from the mobile client won’t solve the issue.
The problem was reported first by a group of Rainbox Six: Siege players, all of whom received the message during an online session, resulting in them being kicked from the gaming session.
The user Huntstark1 also reckons a rival group could be behind the attack, which is purely speculation but is still plausible. The messages couldn’t possibly have been well intended.
The gamer advises other users to set their accounts to private, as the only member of the team who wasn’t affected by this issue had it set to private. The privacy option can be accessed in Account Management under Settings on the PS4. Now that the issue is out in the open, similar attacks could rapidly add up.
Sony has yet to publicly address the issue, which can probably be addressed by a simple software update. Until then, toggling your message settings from “public” to “private” is the only sure fix.