Arcade Sushi Quick Tip: Avoiding the PS4 Jailbreak Scam
We have another scam avoidance tip for you in this week’s Arcade Sushi Quick Tip. This time, it’s PS4 users that have been targeted. A user named Reckz0r has claimed that he has figured out a way to “jailbreak” the PS4. Supposedly, his exploit would allow users to run unsigned code under the PS4 interface. According to his claims, this would allow users to run emulators, use game backups (and of course pirated copies of games), and, yes, even let your PS4 become backward compatible.
However, these claims have a somewhat dubious origin at best. To confirm his legitimacy, Reckz0r posted a “screenshot” of a conversation between himself and Sony (or in this case @PlayStation on twitter). The screenshot (caution: NSFW) shows this supposed Sony responding much as you would imagine a villain would respond in a Saturday morning cartoon. It reads as such:
“Sony:” No? we’re giving you one day, to dele that Pastebin link you have recently posted, aloneside with the files if you have uploaded them somewhere. It won’t take us long to get you arrested if you’re still going to proceed spreading the jailbreak Take the Geohotz scenario as an example.
Reckz0r then responded with a string of obscenities.
Most people can tell that this image is a fake. First of all, Sony would never contact a hacker directly on Twitter. Second of all, Sony’s post is fraught with grammar errors. Third of all, Sony would never make a threat like that without proceeding in an official legal context. Finally, even if Sony would make a poorly worded Twitter threat, they would never use an emoticon in it! However, there is one nail in the coffin for this scandal that trumps all others. Personal messages on Twitter are limited to 140 characters, and “Sony’s” messages exceed that limit.
For those of you who don’t know, the Geohotz scenario refers to a lawsuit that Sony made against George “Geohot” Hotz for developing a legitimate, and for that matter legal, PS3 jailbreak. Many say this is what lead to the supposed Sony attacks by Anonymous and the great PSN outage and security leak. It’s likely that Reckz0r is using this threat to build his cred, but once again it is highly unlikely that Sony would ever reference this in a “threat.”
Despite the obvious fake nature of this claim, some users have fallen for the bait. Luckily, the pastebin in question is pretty harmless. It provides links to a PS4 Devkit and a Jailbreak package, but both links are just broken. So Reckz0r’s childish claims may be embarrassing, but in the long run they are benign.
However, some users have taken it upon themselves to search for mirrors to these files, and this is where the danger comes in. While no “official” mirror by Reckz0r can be found, sites claiming to mirror the files and host the PS4 hack can be found with a quick Google search. We urge you not to go to these sites as they could host malicious scripts or files.
This may seem like common sense to many of you, but it’s not just random schmucks that are being fooled. The International Business Times reported on the hack as if it were legit. In addition, no users have reported finding Reckz0r’s original working files, nor have they reported success with Reckz0r’s recently posted “tutorial” which claims to be able to jailbreak the PS4 with OrbisOS. Some sources have reported the tutorial to be non-harmful, though none have provided proof of the tutorial granting any extra capabilities beyond what a PS4 could do anyway.
Long story short, don’t fall for this scam. The PS4 has not been “jailbroken” yet, and besides, there is little reason to want to jailbreak your console anyway. Online functions like streaming are part of what make the PS4 awesome, and “jailbreaking” your system will likely disable those functions, or worse, get you banned from the Playstation Network.