PS5 hacks could bring us one step closer to a full jailbreak

an image of the top of the PS5
(Image credit: Sony)

We might be one step closer to being able to jailbreak a PS5, if what Fail0verflow (opens in new tab) is claiming turns out to be true. The hacking group claims to have obtained PS5 root keys, which would let them decrypt the console’s firmware.

As noted by Eurogamer (opens in new tab), Fail0verflow is the same group that managed to hack into the PS3, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. So it was only a matter of time before they turned their attention to the PS5. 

What’s more interesting is Twitter user @theflow0 (opens in new tab), aka Google Security engineer Andy Nguyen, has posted a screenshot showcasing the PS5’s debug menu.

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The crucial thing here, as (opens in new tab) points out, is that he managed to activate that menu on a retail console rather that a PS5 testkit. 

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Nguyen said that he has no plans to disclose how he managed to access the debug menu, while Fail0verflow notably waited for Sony to patch the PS4 before publishing the details of its hack. So these achievements may not go anywhere, despite being fairly big news. 

The fact it’s possible to decrypt PS5 firmware and access debug settings on retail consoles means we are another step closer to being able to jailbreak the PS5 console.

Should that ever happen we could see the development of hacks that allow the console to do things that Sony didn’t want you to be able to do. From installing Linux, like the older PlayStation consoles, to running emulators or pirating games. Given how powerful the console is, there’s a lot that could be done if the right people were freed from the constraints of the pre-installed software.

However, we’re still a way from that actually happening. No doubt Sony will likewise be doing everything it can to patch any exploits that could enable hackers to develop a full PS5 jailbreak. 

Still it’s exciting to see what could happen, assuming the PS5 restock shortages actually end, and people are actually able to pick up the console for themselves. A jailbreak is meaningless if you don’t have the system to run it on, after all.

Tom Pritchard
Automotive Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.