A warning has been issued to PlayStation 4 users to set their messages to private in light of some received messages causing consoles to be bricked, i.e. rendered useless. Apparently, the exploit involves being sent a private message that contains certain characters that once viewed, prompt users to perform a factory reset on their console.
Your PS4 will be bricked, should you fail to carry out a factory reset, and in many cases, merely receiving the notifcation can be enough to cause the issue, “depending on how much of the message it parses,” according to posters on the Reddit forums. Deleting the message also doesn’t rectify the problem, even if you do it from the PlayStation mobile app.
“A player from the other team used a dummy account to send the message and crashed my entire team,” Reddit user Huntstark observed. “We all have had to factory reset. Only one of our guys wasn’t affected and he has his messages private.”
Sony has yet to address the reported issue, but it’s probably better to be safe than sorry, and set your messages to private. To do this, head to Settings on your PS4, then Account Management and into Privacy Settings. Enter your password to access the Personal Info page, then set your message filter to ‘Friends’ (assuming you can count on them to not send you the exploit in question) or ‘No One’.
We’ll have more on the PS4 messaging issue should Sony release a response.