Hacking group fail0verflow appears to have overcome a major hurdle in the pursuit of jailbreaking the PS5. In a pair of tweets today, the group says that they’ve gotten “all (symmetric) ps5[sic] root keys,” along with a screenshot for proof. “They can all be obtained from software – including per-console root key, if you look hard enough,” one tweet continues. This is a big step towards hackers being able to decrypt access to the PS5 firmware and begin efforts to run custom code and firmware—or in other words, jailbreak the PS5. This doesn’t mean that the PS5 is entirely compromised just yet, but the root keys will allow them to explore the PS5’s firmware for vulnerabilities.
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! https://t.co/ulbq4LOWW0
— fail0verflow (@fail0verflow) November 8, 2021
Jailbroken consoles are often widely used to run pirated games, which obviously the console manufacturers don’t exactly want to encourage. Many who jailbreak consoles claim altruistic or allegedly “innocent” purposes, such as archiving games and side-loading different operating systems like Linux. Regarding the newly exposed PS5 root keys, fail0verflow was asked “Can these be rotated easily?”— insinuating that Sony might try to close the exploit now that it was known—to which they replied “No.” At this point, it seems that it’s only a matter of time before the PS5 is fully cracked. fail0verflow is the same group that cracked the PS3 back in 2010. They also cracked the PS4 to run Linux, and have been a part of the constant back and forth battle between hackers and Sony for more than a decade.
VGC also noted that another separate incident this weekend allowed Andy Nguyen—a security engineer at Google—to apparently gain access to debug settings on a retail PS5, though he has no plans at this time to share the method. Nguyen also retweeted fail0verflow’s discovery.
No plans for disclosure. No ETA.
— Andy Nguyen (@theflow0) November 7, 2021
The discovery comes just less than a year after the PS5 first launched, but what it means for the future of the console at this point remains to be seen.