According to a forum thread that is being accumulated, a message-based hack is bricking PS4 devices across the globe. This issue happens when the PS4 receives a particular message from any user; it should be noted that the characters included in the message are causing the issue. While the issue does not destroy the PS4 permanently, a factory reset is required to make things right. It also means that the alleged brick will cause data loss in the affected devices. Sony has not commented on the issue; nor has the company confirmed the issue as a part of an attack so far.
This exploit works by sending a particular character that the system cannot handle. This ends up in the PS4 system crashing itself. According to what the Reddit sub-reddit has reported, during a multi-player gaming session, another user had used the message-attack to brick the devices of other players in the session. The only player who did not get affected had turned off messages from non-friends. It means that for the crash system to work, the particular message has to be received by the PS4 device. Since there is no confirmation from Sony’s side, users have to take some precautions on their own.
As said earlier, the issue is caused when the particular message is received on the PlayStation 4 device. The best way is to disable messaging from those who are not friends with you. In case you received the message from a friend, there is an option to disable Messaging all at once too. If the PlayStation 4 is not accessible, a user can rely on their computer or smartphone to access PS4 Messaging section and change the setting. It’s possible to make the changes via the Console, but this may trigger another crash in the long run.