Sony has confirmed that it is working on a fix for an ongoing issue with malicious messages on the PlayStation 4.
Over the past weekend, PS4 users reported that opening malicious PlayStation Network messages would effectively render their systems inoperable until a factory reset was performed.
“We are aware of the situation and are planning a system software update to resolve this problem,” Sony toldGames Radar in an email.
The issue was first reported by Reddit user ‘Huntstark,’ who says his entire Rainbow Six: Siege team was affected by the exploit.
In the thread, Huntstark shared a screenshot of the message that affected his console.
Other Reddit users also reported falling victim to the issue and shared images of similar-looking spammy messages. Below is an image shared one day later by Redditor Divine Vibrations:
In response, Huntstark suggests that PlayStation 4 owners set their messages to private so that random bad actors encountered online can’t attack them.
To do this, head to the PlayStation 4’s Settings menu and select Account Management. From there, scroll down to Privacy Settings and visit Personal Information – Messaging. From here, you’ll be able to set your message preferences to ‘Friends only’ or ‘No one.’
As an added precaution, social media users are suggesting that players who use the Android and iOS PlayStation Messages app to delete any suspicious messages there, rather than risk opening them on their consoles.
Currently, the issue appears to only affect PlayStation 4 consoles; older PlayStation systems like the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita appear to be safe.
This is a particularly harmful exploit for PlayStation 4 systems, however, given that the only solution seems to be to completely wipe them of all saved content. PlayStation Plus subscribers are at least able to back up their save files to the cloud, but otherwise, players could face losing hundreds of hours of game progress should their system be affected.
It’s currently unclear when Sony will release the system update to fix the messaging issue.