PlayStation 4 Units Are Apparently Being Bricked By A Mysterious Message

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Only one team member wasn't affected, apparently because he keeps his PSN messaging set to private.

u/Huntstark on Reddit reported this issue yesterday in a post titled, "WARNING: Set your messages to private".

Reddit user Qraeshawn said: "I had a player named Zilla-Trickz that sent me 7 messages saying: Fortnite [] 3, but the heart was an emoji". The only way to combat the malicious message now is to either turn off messages entirely or only receive messages from people you know and trust.

From a web browser, visit the PSN Privacy setting page, then sign in with your PS4 account credentials.

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In order to protect your hardware from this kind of attack, users are encouraged to change their message settings to receive messages from "friends only" or "no one" under Personal Info/Messages, according to Polygon. Sony is yet to comment on the glitch. Here's how to do it, straight from Sony.

At the time of writing, PlayStation has not acknowledged the bug or issued a solution, so to ensure your console is safe and avoid a factory reset, we recommend changing your settings.

While the exact cause is unclear, many users in the Reddit thread have likened the exploit to previous messaging exploits such as this one from 2015 in which a unique string of characters could crash an iPhone.

If you've received a malicious message with three heart emojis followed by a question mark box symbol, chances are your PS4 has frozen up and either needed a factory reset or a database rebuild to correct it. This is especially true if you play online games and are often exposed to random fellow players.