PlayStation 4 Jailbroken, Exploit May Work On PS5 Too

PlayStation 4 Jailbroken, Exploit May Work On PS5 Too

December 13, 2021 may go down in history as the day the PlayStation 4 finally got blown wide open, as a trio of noted console hackers just released a new, ready-to-run kernel exploit for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro that works on firmware version 9.00 and earlier. In other words, running homebrew apps and unauthorised copies of games just became feasible for a very significant chunk of PS4 owners.

The jailbreak, dubbed “pOOBs4,” is credited to noted PlayStation scene hacker/developers SpecterDev, ChendoChap, and Znullptr, with thanks given to Sleirsgoevy for their webkit browser exploit and (famous PlayStation hacking god) TheFloW for discovering the actual filesystem bug that allows this exploit to work. The jailbreak requires network access and a USB key with a special file on it. After that, the console is free to receivesent a payload from athe PC, such as the Mira Project custom firmware or the GoldHEN homebrew enabler.

The first inkling something was up came when noted PlayStation scene hacker/developer SpecterDev tweeted a video showing custom firmware running on a version 9.0 firmware PlayStation 4.

Znullptr spoke up a few hours later, tweeting that the exploit was real and what’s more, the kernel exploit the jailbreak utilises should work on the PS5 as well. However, a PS5 version has not yet been created, in part due to the lead dev not yet having a PS5. Relatable.

SpecterDev followed up this morning by officially releasing the pOOBs4 jailbreak, with links to its official GitHub. Yes, it was indeed real.

pOOBs4 is not the first time hackers have gained the ability to execute arbitrary code on the PlayStation 4, but it’s definitely the most notable because prior exploits required would-be exploiters to keep their systems on older firmware versions that most people had already left behind. As a result, only a small subset of PlayStation 4 consoles was exploitable at any given time, and users couldn’t play newer games that required later firmware versions to run.

In contrast, Sony’s now-exploitable version 9.00 firmware just came out on September 15, and the subsequent (and non-exploitable) version 9.03 on December 1. In effect, all PS4 owners who haven’t updated their systems for the last two weeks are now able to jailbreak their systems, install custom firmware, and, well, install and run whatever they want afterward. This goose looks cooked. And that’s before considering Znullptr’s note that the kernel exploit potentially applies to PS5 as well. Better stick a pin in that.

No console remains unhackable forever, and PlayStation 4 had a fairly lengthy run. And while it appears that streak may be largely over, today may also mark the beginning of a new era of easy-to-access homebrew development on Sony’s cheap, relatively powerful console.


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