Notorious hacker group Fail0verflow have apparently managed to get a PS4 to run unsigned code, specifically an emulated, modified version of Pokemon Emerald. Showing their work off at the 32nd Chaos Communication Congress, the hacker group showed the PS4 booting into a specially made version of Linux and then running an emulator. Other features apparently functional include complicated techno-wizard talk such as Kernal Modesetting and Framebuffering, but for the less technically minded, simpler sounding key features currently working include Bluetooth, WiFi, and Blinking Lights.
3D acceleration, HDMI audio and USB devices are still work in progress, but the hacker group later remarked that the PS4 was close enough to a PC that 3d acceleration seemed possible to get working “in a timeframe of months, not years”. Fail0verflow also encouraged others to join in the fun, stating that their low-level access to the PS4’s hardware was easy: “PS4 security is crappy enough that you don’t need us for that.”
Fail0verflow had previously been noted for its work in hacking PlayStation 3 and Wii U systems with varying success, and past hacking attempts had demonstrated that the PS4’s RAM could be dumped onto its hard drive. In other words, it was possible to get the PS4 to take whatever it was currently thinking about and drop it onto the hard drive for hackers to have a look at. This new hack is a significant step beyond that, as more qualified techno sorcerers Digital Foundry point out.
However, bad news for unscrupulous sorts who just want to play free games: Fail0verflow are refusing to publically release their hack, which is rather fair considering the heated fallout that occurred when Fail0verflow released their PS3 hack which enabled such ruffian behaviour.
Sony has yet to make a response to this unabashed picking apart of their hardware, but it’s sure to be an interesting spectacle; if Sony released an emergency patch to remove the software vulnerability, it wouldn’t be the first time, as previous patches have been made to the PSP, PS3 and even the Vita.
For more complicated information with long polysyllabic computer related terms that we here at The Games Cabin frankly don’t understand, please check out Fail0verflow’s blog.