Launched in November 2020, Sony’s PlayStation 5 (PS5) is widely popular for its higher perceived graphics and power, gorgeous 4K performance, stunningly fast load times, and much more.
Although it’s been almost two years since the launch, gamers are still struggling to get their hands on the new console generation. Thanks to the infamous supply chain issues and scalpers purchasing all the stock.
Despite these setbacks, the PS5 has apparently been jailbroken for the first time on Monday. PlayStation hacker SpecterDev described the new jailbreak as an experimental IPV6 kernel exploit.
This is the same exploit that was used to jailbreak PlayStation 4 (PS4) in 2021.
For those unaware, the term “jailbroken” effectively means that the device has been modified to perform functions or install contents or run custom software, including pirated games that would normally be restricted by the device’s manufacturer.
The jailbreak depends on a WebKit vulnerability in PS5’s IPV6 implementation, which means it only works on PS5s running firmware 4.03 – a version that was released back in October 2021.
Currently, the trick only works 30% of the time, mostly requiring multiple attempts to execute.
Twitch streamer and fellow modder Lance MacDonald (@manfightdragon) who highlighted and tried the jailbreak was able to install the now-defunct Silent Hill demo, P.T., which was officially delisted from the PlayStation Store a few years ago.
The PlayStation 5 has been jailbroken. pic.twitter.com/54fvBGoQGw
— Lance McDonald (@manfightdragon) October 3, 2022
As you can see from the video, the jailbreak gives users access to the system’s debug menu as well as the ability to install a PS4 PKG file (i.e. a backup of a game) although it isn’t playable on the system. For instance, McDonald wasn’t able to start playing the P.T. game.
The jailbreak only gives read/write access to the PS5, which means you may be able to install games from outside of the PlayStation Store, but don’t have execute access to actually run it. Currently, there’s no way to run sideloaded software files.
It’s important to note that jailbreaking comes with its own consequences such as voiding a user’s warranty if something goes wrong with the console rendering it completely unusable, receiving a ban from the PlayStation Network (PSN), and blocking online multiplayer or voice chat.
Not to forget it also exposes the device to several other risks, including security vulnerabilities, stability issues, potential crashes and freezes, and shortened battery life.
While the act of jailbreaking itself usually is not illegal, it’s worth noting that laws vary around the world, continue to change, and are often a grey area when it comes to this topic.
Since the alleged exploit has limited functionality, it is unlikely to make it into widespread use.
However, the discovery opens up a lot of possibilities for the modders to use it as a starting point and find more practical ways to jailbreak and install homebrew software on the PS5 console.
Although the attempts to bypass the PS5’s security are minor, it is definitely a concern that Sony would have to be worried about.