Hackers jailbreak the PS4, claim kernel exploit also works on PS5

Some people just don't play by the rules.

Hands holding a PS5 game controller with spot light.

PS4 and PS4 Pro owners now have a way to jailbreak their consoles, thanks to a small team of hackers who released a kernel exploit earlier this week. The jailbreak, maturely named “pOOBs4,” allows users to install and run custom firmware, apps, custom game mods and illegal copies of games.

Whodunnit? — The hackers behind the jailbreak go by the names of SpecterDev, ChendoChap, Znullptr, Sleirgoevy and TheFloW. According to these developers, this PS4 jailbreak should also work on the PS5, but the team hasn’t tested it yet because the lead developer doesn’t have one of Sony’s latest-gen consoles.

How does it work? — The jailbreak will only work on firmware 9.0 and earlier because it exploits a filesystem bug. Users will need an external drive and have to “run arbitrary code as kernel, to allow jailbreaking and kernel-level modifications to the system,” according to the hack’s GitHub page.

Pros and Cons — Whether Sony likes it or not, some gamers are willing to jailbreak their consoles just so they can force backwards compatibility. A jailbroken PS4 can allow the installation of emulators, as well as pirated copies of other PlayStation titles. The downside is that jailbroken PlayStation consoles won’t be able to access the PlayStation network or online multiplayer games.

It’s important to note that modifying a PS4 or PS5 violates Sony’s rules and voids any existing warranties, so amateur hackers should proceed with caution.