PS4 Hacked, Video Demonstrates Console Playing Pokemon

Hacker group Fail0verflow releases custom PS4 Linux OS.

157 Comments

The notorious hacking group Fail0verflow has demonstrated what appears to be the world's first low-level hack of the PlayStation 4.

As well as bypassing the console's security measures, Fail0verflow has also managed to write a custom version of Linux for the console, and has made the PS4 Linux port publicly available on its website.

A video demonstration of the hack also shows the PS4 playing what appears to be a modded version of Pokemon Emerald, renamed as "Pokemon PlayStation Version."

Fail0verflow has been responsible for hacks of numerous consoles. Digital Foundry claims the group had previously hacked the Wii, Wii U, and PlayStation 3.

Hacker group Fail0verflow has demonstrated
Hacker group Fail0verflow has demonstrated "Pokemon PlayStation Version" running on PS4

The PlayStation 4 had proven to be free from such hacks for more than two years since its release.

But late in December, at the Chaos Communication Congress event in Hamburg, representatives for Fai0verflow published a five-minute video demonstrating the PS4 running a custom version of Linux.

The group appeared to be impressed by the PlayStation 4's architecture, claiming: "The Marvell engineers who designed the southbridge were smoking some really good stuff."

While some hackers advocate the bypassing of console security as more a hobbyist pursuit, corporations tend to claim that such hacks pave the way for pirated games.

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bigg_p

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I always keep an extra console from launch boxed with the first FW version, just in case of homebrew goodness...

Looks like it might have been worth it this time too :)

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drodriguesaar

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Edited By drodriguesaar

This hack only works In older version of the ps4 OS, more exactly 1.75 and the actual version is 3.10...Actually the notifications appears on the upper left side of the screen not on the upper right side. Probably this breach was corrected on previous updates....

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rotchild

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Whatever makes greedy bastards from Sony look bad, is good.

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blue-peregrine

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What a bunch of Linux nerds.

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OmegaTau

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ps4 and xbone are just low end PC

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kazeswen

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Edited By kazeswen

@XAGMNINETY: If they can run Linux on the system, its just a matter of time before they can install a custom firmware with all security stripped for the PS4, which would open the doors for a fully hacked PS4.

This is the beginning of the end.

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Jinzo_111887

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This could lead to further exploits like Wii hackers managed to achieve. I wonder if Sony will consider making online multiplayer free on PS4 to try to get people to update if they find exploits on newer firmware.

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lostn

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@Jinzo_111887: Firmware updates don't require PS+ or online multiplayer.

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maitkarro

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@lostn: You missed the point, it would be an incentive to play online games, as right now if you're not interested in online games, you don't actually have to update the console, if you want to be online, you have to update the console.

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lostn

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@maitkarro: So in other words they should make online free to get people who are too lazy to update their firmware to start updating their firmware?

I don't think that will make a difference. PS3 online was free, and people still hated updating firmware.

Also, if you want to access the PS store you have to update anyway.

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Ha2e

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Edited By Ha2e

@maitkarro: If you were part of the 360/ps3 hacking scene last gen then you would know that both ps3 and 360 could be updated and still played online while hacked

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game2014guy

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there were claims that the Wii U has been hacked but as far as I remember Wii U mode hasn't been hacked yet so this would be the first public release for the current generation of consoles. Took a lot less time than the PS3. This will likely give me a reason to take the dust off my PS4.

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lostn

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Edited By lostn

@game2014guy: You can play bootlegged games on Wii U, so yeah, it's been hacked.

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SDINH225

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@game2014guy: Depends on how you see it I guess. Wii U already has been hacked to run Homebrew and play free downloaded "backup" games on its Wii mode as if its the hacked/jailbroken/modded Wii itself for years now. Heck I did that at first to play Smash Bros Brawl's Project M, that reset upon hit feature opens up possibilities for some sick combos when your attacks connect like an actual fighting game. Haven't seen anything about Wii U backup games yet other than a really early Alpha stage Wii U emulator and that's what I think of this news, just the PS4 being hacked to run an old game but doesn't say squat about current gen games.

We'll see though, all of these consoles/handhelds especially Playstation and Nintendo related products get hacked to death eventually.

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lostn

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@sdinh225: Wii U isos are playable on Wii U right now.. have you kept up to date with the modding scene? I'd post a link but it would get moderated. Just do a google search for "current status of Wii U hacking".

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SDINH225

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@lostn: I haven't but thanks a bunch for the update.

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hystavito

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Edited By hystavito

@game2014guy: The WiiU is hacked to different degrees depending on what firmware you have. The public stuff is mostly just loading pirated games though, but with certain firmwares you can start to do some more interesting things.

The PS4 being hacked isn't as interesting to me as the WiiU because the WiiU has more unique hardware to play around with. I've been waiting to see WiiU hacks because when it's wide open and people can write homebrew I wonder what cool things they might do with dual screens, touchscreen, IR, NFC, etc. They might even open up full capabilities to use the just the gamepad with other devices, there's been some of that but limited. That alone could be very cool.

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bfa1509

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Why does everyone have to laugh and clap at everything? They might as well write "NERD" on their foreheads.

I love these kind of hacks though. I believe that you should have unrestricted access to all hardware that you buy.

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deathBRINGER201

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Edited By deathBRINGER201

As long as I don't run into infinite health hacks on dark souls 2 I don't really care.

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Wilson_Diabetes

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Cool story, bro.

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zyxahn

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I don't care about a hacked PS4. Completely stupid imo. I do however care about saying that I don't care about a hacked PS4. =P

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KimCheeWarriorX

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it wasnt a matter of if it was just a matter of when. now begins a battle to keep up with hackers to keep psn relatively hack free until the next break comes along.

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Jinzo_111887

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@KimCheeWarriorX: I'd suggest Sony resort to free online multiplayer to get people to update if any future exploits occur, but that's just me.

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Mirimon78

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Edited By Mirimon78

@Jinzo_111887: updates are free.....

Why are you still on about and confused about what ps plus is, and why are you clueless about how this hack works and still commenting about it?

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Ayato_Kamina_1

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@Mirimon78: I think the guy just wants to not have to pay for PS+ to play online... why let something silly like facts get in the way of getting your agenda across!

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LouiXIII

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It was just a matter of time.

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BarcaAzul

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Patch incoming!

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PayneKiller

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Pretty sure I read this article like 3 days ago

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elkoldo

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So when exactly will there be pirated PS4 games?

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Mirimon78

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Edited By Mirimon78

@elkoldo: not anytime soon, this is a finite hacking of a launch version firmware through a webroot

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wookiegr

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And this children.. is why games force you be online all the time.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Edited By GirlUSoCrazy

I don't think they were impressed so much as incredulous that the south bridge was designed with such compromise in the security dept

Basic low level hardware features are exposed via USB interfaces! Wtf!?

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beastmode

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Hacked console means increased hardware sales in poor countries.

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sladakrobot

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@beastmode: Means also less original games sold which hurts devs

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dimpoblimpo

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@beastmode: means increased hardware sales everywhere. I'll go get one now that I can run unsigned software yaaaap.

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drocdoc

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@beastmode: sad but true. They really can't afford all the new games

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stjohn511979

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I presume Sony will respond with another update that will "enhance system performance" and/or "increase system stability".

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GirlUSoCrazy

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@stjohn511979: They already did, this hack only works on earlier firmware so far (1.75 or something and we're at 3.10 or higher)

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nickpeck36

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Edited By nickpeck36

@stjohn511979: lol, I was thinking the same thing.

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jagdedge124

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So for a person like myself on the older end of things that may not be technically saavy, what does this mean? PS4 can play PC games with a controller? If that was the case, i'd buy a PS4, and get on Red Orchestra lol.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Edited By GirlUSoCrazy

@jagdedge124: No because PS4 doesn't have a PC BIOS/firmware to replicate many functions through which PC operating systems control low level hardware initialization as well as no drivers through which to control hardware through the OS either.

Even the Linux version they are running is in a VM and not accessing hardware directly so it will be a long time before hardware acceleration can be used so anything they get running on there now will not perform relatively well.

A method of loading unsigned software so that the PS4 OS recognizes it as valid is also required if you're to use the official PS4 devkit in some way to write PS4 software that uses the PS4 OS to properly control hardware. Otherwise software will only be able to run in a simple jail that relies on a kludged mashup of compromised routines to inefficiently control the PS4.

TL;DR: it means nothing to you, absolutely nothing. You'd get similar performance running web apps in the PS4 browser.

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maitkarro

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Edited By maitkarro

@girlusocrazy: Their linux on ps4 was running better than ps4's browser.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Edited By GirlUSoCrazy

@maitkarro: Yeah but they explained they were making use of a VM to load it and it didn't have full access to hardware acceleration. Linux can run fast on very basic systems.

But you can see that Linux is still loading very slowly in this environment.

Framebuffer mode is slow. This is what Linux on PS3 used as well and even though you had access to everything in the hardware aside from the GPU, any graphical stuff was slow like here. The GUI they are running (XFCE) is running in 2D with no video acceleration.

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Jinzo_111887

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@girlusocrazy: Sony allows Virtual Machines on PS4?

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Edited By GirlUSoCrazy

@Jinzo_111887: This has nothing to do with what Sony is allowing, it's an unauthorized hack that uses the PS4 in nonstandard ways.

This group figured out how to chain together isolated functions that can be willingly called by the hack to create a Turing complete machine (a complete set of logic that can execute a computer program) which is used to load and execute a Linux environment. So it is a virtual machine that runs within some heavy constraints but can still access root and many hardware functions which could lead to complete access through a custom firmware if flashing security is bypassed and if firmware hacking progresses far enough.

There is still a lot of work left to get any decent homebrew scene going on PS4.

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asmcint

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@jagdedge124: Well they'd need to get 3D acceleration working properly, and get appropriately optimized custom drivers, not to mention figure out how to allocate the system's unified memory for use in gaming.

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