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New PS4 homebrew exploit points to similar PS5 hacks to come

Enlarge / Sony’s PlayStation 4. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Hackers have released details of a new exploit that allows homebrew and custom firmware to be installed on PS4 consoles running relatively recent firmware. What’s more, the specifics of the exploit suggest similar homebrew capabilities may soon be available on some versions of the PlayStation 5.

The new exploit builds on a known error in the way that the PS4’s WebKit implementation utilizes font-faces. That exploit on the PS4 was publicized in October as a proof of concept after a similar error was found in Apple’s Safari WebKit implementation in September.

On the PS4, the full exploit can now be triggered by visiting a website with specially formatted JavaScript via the PS4 web browser, allowing the system to run kernel-level code that bypasses the console’s usual security protections. From there, the exploit can read files from an inserted USB stick and install homebrew software, including existing custom PS4 firmware.

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