Over the past few days, several PlayStation users have been reporting a malicious console-crashing attack sent via console message. Players claimed a specific character combination had "bricked" their consoles, forced them to factory reset their PlayStations, and that "even deleting the message from the mobile app" didn't protect them. The only known way for players to protect themselves was by setting their messages to private.
PlayStation has now publicly acknowledged the problem, in a tweet sent from the British support account - which claims the issue can be solved in under five minutes.
According to the tweet, the exploit does not actually brick consoles, but was instead "sending them into a crash loop". Some players appeared to be on the right lines by hoping to delete the message via the PS mobile app - but to fully stop the message players should also "go into Safe Mode" and then "use Option 5" (that's "Rebuild Database") to get their consoles back to normal.
We've since fixed the issue, and it wasn't bricking consoles, just sending them into a crash loop that can be quickly fixed in under 5 minutes. Delete the message on the PS mobile app, go into Safe Mode, use Option 5, console back to normal. ^DB— Ask PlayStation UK (@AskPS_UK) October 15, 2018
Sony is yet to make a full statement on the message hack issue, and this tweet is the closest we've gotten to an explanation. Eurogamer has contacted Sony for comment and will update this story when we hear more. Until then, it may be prudent to set your PlayStation messages to private - and should you be sent the message, follow the instructions in Sony's tweet.