There are reports of a PS4 messaging hack which is bricking consoles.
Reddit users seemed to all have stories beginning similarly with "I was beating these guys in x online game" before they received the message.
u/Huntstark on Reddit reported this issue yesterday in a post titled, "WARNING: Set your messages to private". A player from the other team used a dummy account to send the message and crashed my entire team. In describing the PS4 message, one player wrote that it was merely a question mark in a box, suggesting that the malicious messages can not even be displayed by the PS4. Some users went through the hassle of factory resetting their consoles to fix the problem, but Sony does have another method in place before a proper fix rolls out.
The sad part is that you can not receive the message by accident, so irresponsible gamers are purposely sending them with the sole aim to do harm. Deleting the messages from a mobile app can also help you avoid a bricked PS4, rather than opening the messages on the console itself.
From a web browser, visit the PSN Privacy setting page, then sign in with your PS4 account credentials.
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The simplest solution to prevent this from happening in future is to turn off messages from folks you don't know.
The main advice though is to change the messaging options on the console so you only receive messages from friends or no one.
If you haven't been affected by this bug and want to protect yourself, the way to do that is to restrict messaging on your console to PlayStation 4 to friends only.
Kotaku has reached out to Sony for comment but they did not respond in time for publication.