After computers and smartphones, comes the turn of video game consoles. A mysterious hacker, according to what we read on some Reddit boards (a social network very popular in the United States) is having fun spreading a killer message that forces the user to reset the PlayStation 4.
As we read in the Reddit messages, a group of gamers engaged in a game of Rainbow Six would receive a message from a fake profile composed of a sequence of characters (apparently) random that would send in block (in brick, in technical jargon) the PlayStation 4. At this point the Sony console is unusable, forcing users to reset it to factory settings. This means that gamers would lose forever all files and documents saved only locally, sending up in smoke hours and hours of gaming.
Something similar had already happened, as you may remember, with the Iphone. The story of iPhones stuck because of a message with a special character was solved only with an update of the operating system. For thousands and thousands of users, unfortunately, the update came too late and they were forced to reset their iPhones, losing photos, videos and documents stored in them.
What happens after receiving the killer message of the PlayStation 4
As mentioned, the receipt of the message is apparently completely random (the author of the post on Reddit said he had never had relations with the user who sent the message) and there is nothing you can do to avoid the brick of the console. Once you receive it, all you have to do is restore the console to factory settings: you'll lose all the data contained within it that will not have been synchronized over the web. Local game saves will no longer be recoverable and you'll have to play the game all over again to get them back.
How to defend yourself against the PlayStation 4 killer message
According to the versions of the various gamers affected, the message doesn't even have to be opened. Its receipt and the appearance of the notification in the PS4's message area are enough to send the console into lockdown. The only defensive weapon, in short, is the modification of the privacy settings, so you can only receive messages from your friends. To do so, you'll have to go to Account Management > Privacy Settings > Personal Settings/Messaging and select Friends Only or None.