A hacker group claimed to have uncovered the PlayStation 5’s root keys in a post on Twitter, leading to speculation that it will be possible to jailbreak the console.
According to video game news website VGC, hacking group fail0verflow shared a screenshot of its discovery with the message “another one bites the dust”. In a later post, the group offered a brief explanation on how it was able to obtain the root keys.
“Translation – we got all (symmetric) PS5 root keys. They can all be obtained from software – including per-console root key, if you look hard enough,” fail0verflow said.
Uncovering the symmetric root keys may enable hackers to decrypt files and look for exploits. Website The Verge explained that decrypted firmware could potentially be used to develop the type of hacks that were previously utilised to do things like “installing Linux, emulators and even pirated games on past Sony consoles”.
The Twitter post by fail0verflow has since racked up over 3,000 likes, with some commenters calling the feat “impressive” and “exciting”, while others encouraged the group to share more updates. There were also those who slammed the group’s actions for encouraging piracy.
To note, PlayStation 5 games are usually priced anywhere from RM80 to RM300 per title. Some titles, like Call of Duty: Vanguard – Ultimate Edition, can cost as much as RM415.
Additionally, Twitter user Andy Nguyen – who describes himself as a Google security engineer – shared a screenshot claiming that he was able to access the PlayStation 5’s debug setting menu, which is typically hidden from end users. It seems that Nguyen will not be revealing any details about his post as he tweeted: “No plans for disclosure. No ETA.”
Website PlayStation Lifestyle reported that fail0verflow is the same group that uncovered the PlayStation 3’s private keys in 2010 – making it possible to run any program on the console – and is also believed to have cracked the PS4 to run Linux.
Hacking a gaming console could lead to legal consequences. In 2011, Sony filed a lawsuit against hacker George Hotz who posted his information on how to jailbreak the PS3 on the Internet. The two parties settled the matter where Hotz agreed to take down his postings.