Hackers just got tantalizingly close to jailbreaking the PS5

Persistence is key, especially when it comes to hack the heck out of your next-gen game console.


Maybe you remember a period in the early 2010s where a friend would show you some sort of Apple device — typically an iPod or an early iPhone — that looked a little different. On the outside it was the same old, but inside, the UI and apps were... Off.

In The Business, that’s what we like to call jailbreaking, which occurs when system code is modified so users can install their own firmware, and now, according to two a few diligent hackers, it’s the PS5’s turn.

As noted by a recent report from Kotaku, hackers Flow0 and the collective Fail0verflow, say they’ve made a breakthrough in jailbreaking the PS5 and have kindly highlighted some of their progress on Twitter.

On Sunday, Flow0 uploaded the above screenshot, demonstrating that he had accessed a new option within the settings menu, specifically “Debug Settings.” As noted by Kotaku, this screenshot was posted using the PS5’s sharing capability, adding more validity to the claim.

Typically, the “Debug Settings,” option is reserved for development kits so that studios can test their games in order to work out kinks. Flow0 has already established a sort of pedigree within the hacking community, cracking open the PlayStation Vita and also earning $20,000 over the last couple year for exposing security issues within the PS4.

First domino to fall— Later that night another hacker group known as fail0verflow uploaded a small piece of the jailbroken pie: A screenshot supposedly displaying internal PS5 root keys, which would be used to decrypt the console’s firmware.

While these screenshots only offer a glimpse into the end game of a potential jailbreak, they aren’t exactly a blueprint yet. Ultimately a timeline for running third-party software on your PS5 is still shrouded in mystery. For what it’s worth it took five years for hackers to crack open both the PS3 and PS4, which were released in 2006 and 2013 respectively.

By jailbreaking the PS5 users would be able to customize the UI according to their taste, add an emulator into the mix and install an operating system of their choice, Linux for example. The console suddenly becomes ones own server computer. Increased piracy though comes with its drawbacks: Your warranty would be voided, access to the Playstation Store would be cut off, and it could affect your ability to play online or use the PlayStation Store.

It will be interesting to see if the PS5 will be cracked open ahead of its predecessors or even before the next-gen console is widely available because of... you know. When it eventually becomes an option think twice before you do it because one you break loose, there’s no going back.