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In brief: PlayStation hackers have dealt a huge jailbreaking blow to the PS4 with the release of "pOOBs4" on Monday. The kernel-level exploit only requires a network connection and a USB drive. After running, the console should be open to installing homebrewed games and backup copies of existing titles.
The kernel exploit was discovered and developed by a group of Playstation hackers, including SpecterDev, ChendoChap, and Znullptr, with help from Sleirsgoevy (webkit browser exploit) and TheFloW (who discovered the filesystem bug). After running the crack, a PS4 or PS4 Pro can receive payloads from a PC such as custom firmware, copied games, or homebrewed titles.
Specter teased the jailbreak on Sunday with a tweet allegedly showing a version 9.00 PS4 running custom firmware (below). Znullptr confirmed that the exploit worked a few hours later. The team then released pOOBs4 on GitHub Monday morning.
PlayStation 4 jailbreaking is nothing new, but two things make this one special.
First, it runs on firmware 9.00, which only launched last September. Since then, there has only been one other update (9.03), which dropped on December 1. Most PS4 jailbreaks exploit much older firmware versions.
For example, before pOOBs4, the latest jailbreak required users to be running firmware 7.55, which Sony released in August 2020. Having an exploit only two versions deep and with the newest firmware only two weeks old opens up a much larger crowd that can easily crack their PS4s.
Second, it looks like the kernel exploit should also work on the PlayStation 5. The exploit sprung out of the file system bug that TheFloW used to pwn all of the PS5's root keys last month. However, they have not created a PS5 version yet because—get this—the lead developer has not been able to buy one yet, so we'll have to reserve our excitement until he can finally land a console. Maybe he should read my guide to beating the scalpers.
If you are interested in playing anything you want on your PS4, check out ChendoChap's GitHub page for instructions on how to pull off the jailbreak. Keep in mind that this will allow the PS4 to run pirated software, which is illegal, so play at your own risk.