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The PS4/PS5 Hacks we want to see in 2023 (and a review of 2022 PS4/PS5 hacks) | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Happy New Year! 2022 has been a pretty eventful year for PlayStation hacks, with the PS5 getting blown open for the first time, and a series of vulnerabilities released,  impacting both the PS4 and PS5. Nevertheless, none of these exploits has led to a complete Jailbreak for any of the two consoles.

Let’s review what happened on the hacking front in 2022, and what we hope could happen in 2023:

2022 – The PS4/PS5 hacking year in Review

2022 saw a series of confirmed vulnerabilities for PlayStation, which in many cases impacted both the PS4 and PS5, due to some of their shared architecture and dependencies. In the first half of the year, we witnessed some progress, in particular on the PS5 thanks to a Webkit vulnerability. Hackers also released tools to help with PS5 reverse engineering. (also here).

2022- BD-JB Exploit and PS5 First Kernel Exploit

2022 was also of course the year of the BD-JB exploit, a usermode exploit that impacted both the PS4 and PS5. This was shortly followed by the first ever PS5 Kernel exploit, giving us hopes that the console would see an actual Jailbreak in 2022. Unfortunately, the PS5 is heavily secured, and even with a Kernel hack, what we can do with a hacked PS5 remains limited. (hey, but we got custom themes on PS5 now!)

On the usermode front, the mast1c0re exploit, based on vulnerabilities in the PS2 emulator of the console, gave us fresh hopes for a PS4/PS5 homebrew environment. We’ll certainly be waiting for an update from CTurt on his promised “part 2”.

Other vulnerabilities seemed to get lost in the void, such as this heap overflow which was disclosed to Sony, but apparently never made public.

2022 –  A “small” year for PS4 hacking?

It was a “small” year for the PS4, in comparison. In all fairness, it was difficult to beat 2021’s p00Bs4 Jailbreak!

Although the PS4 is much more hackable than the PS5 (and has seen more or less the same usermode vulnerabilities as the PS5), the last PS4 Jailbreak is compatible only up to firmware 9.00, and firmwares above that (9.03, 9.04, 9.50, 9.51, 9.60, 10.00, 10.01) are still hoping for some solution. For some, the hope might come from the syscon firmware revert technique. It lets people “downgrade” a PS4 to its previous firmware, and has gained visibility toward the end of last year.

So, technically, the PS5 isn’t more hackable than the PS4, on the contrary. But by comparison, the progress made on PS5 hacking in 2022 seems much more significant than what happened to the PS4. The last week of the year did bring us a bunch of releases though (which we summarized here) , in particular Al-Azif’s PS4 CFW Toolkit, an encryption/decryption tool that could be hinting at something big for the PS4 next year.

2023 – The PS4/PS5 hacks we want to see

Is patience still the key for PS4 Jailbreak in 2023?

Of course there are lots of hopes for the PlayStation hacking scene in 2023. We’re the first to say patience is key, but in particular for the PS4, it’s been a while since the last Jailbreak was released, and the next one is starting to feel overdue. Of course, as we keep saying, at this point the easiest way to get a Jailbroken PS4 is to get a used one on eBay.

Nonetheless it would be great to see something coming out of some hacker’s hat for firmware 10.xx. At the very least, we’re hoping for part2 of CTurt’s mast1c0re, and hopefully a (even if limited) Homebrew environment would be awesome.

2023 – PS5 Hypervisor broken?

On the PS5 front, the holy grail moving forward would be a hack of the Hypervisor, the omnipotent god that seems to make the console invulnerable.

With growing rumors of new PS5 hardware coming (such as a “digital only + detachable disc drive” replacement to the current Physical/Digital distinction, or a rumored PS5 Pro), it would be great to get the original hardware revisions fully Jailbroken.

PS4/PS5 vulnerabilities to look into

Lots of vulnerabilities or proof-of-concept were published in 2022, that haven’t been looked at for the PS4 or PS5 yet. Or, at the very least, that haven’t completely been dismissed as “hopeless” for these consoles. In particular:

Conclusion: my body is ready for 2023 hacks!

As always, we can’t predict when a specific console will get a Jailbreak. What we know from experience is that people who stay on lower firmwares have better chances of getting the goods. We wrote some advice on how to get ready for future hack releases. That was back in June, but it’s still valid today.


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National Cyber Security