The PlayStation 5 is not secure: A person named Specter has announced on Github that he has found a firmware vulnerability that allows access to the console’s kernel. This is not the first security flaw in the latest PlayStation.
Access to the kernel possible
Specter announced on Github that it had discovered the vulnerability and, thanks to it, gained access to the PlayStation 5’s kernel. This comes with root privileges, access to the debug menu, and extensive read and write access to the console’s memory. However, Specter stated that he did not have the ability to run his own programs – which significantly limits the possibilities resulting from the jailbreak. Also worth pointing out at this point is that the vulnerability was only found with firmware version 4.03; however, the current firmware version that most consoles should run with is version 6.0. Specter also stated that access was only possible in around 30 percent of attempts. Thus, he said, it was necessary for him to access the console’s internal browser and generate a memory error; if that doesn’t work, the kernel goes into panic mode and forces a reboot of the console, which means the access attempt has to be restarted.
Jailbreak = unlicensed games?
Overall, Sony has little to worry about with this: There is only a minor threat to the security of the users, since no execution of third-party programs is possible. Flooding the PlayStation with unlicensed games is also unlikely despite the jailbreak, since this requires access not only to the console, but also to the PlayStation Network, which is separately secured – at least for the vast majority of games.
Nevertheless, Sony should be concerned about the security of its consoles, since the discovered vulnerability is not the only one. In the past few months, there have already been several reports about discovered vulnerabilities in the PlayStation 4 and 5, lastly in mid-September. It is possible that Sony will also consider upgrading the security systems as part of the revamp of the PlayStation 5.