There’s a bug on the PlayStation 4 that causes the console to freeze or even brick it when you receive a message that contains a string with certain characters in it.
This issue has caused people to factory reset their console in hopes of fixing it. In a lot of cases, the message didn’t even need to be opened to cause the glitch. Players reported that as soon as they received the message their controller would stop working and the console would freeze and on rebooting it a “Report Problem” screen appeared instead of their regular home screen.
The only workaround to not get hit by such a message seems to be ny setting your messages setting to “private”. To do that head on over to this link and log into your PS4. Then go to Personal Info>Messages>Edit and choose either “No One” or “Friends Only” if you trust your friends. Alternatively, you can do it from your PS4 by going to Settings>Account Management>Privacy Settings>Enter your Password>Personal Info | Messaging and set it to either “No One” or “Friends”.
If You’ve already been affected by it, here’s what you do. Download the PS Messages App for your phone or log in here. Once you’ve logged in, delete that specific message. Next you check if you can use your account on the PS4. If it still doesn’t work you’re going to need to boot your PS4 in Safe Mode(Here’s the official guide to help you do so). Once you’re in Safe Mode, choose the 5th option “Rebuild Database”. This might take some time to finish but once it is done you should be able to login like before and use your account. Rebuilding your database won’t cause you to lose any of your data so it is safe to do.
Sony is currently working on fixing this and a patch should be made public soon but until then set your messages to private if you’re someone who plays online games on your PlayStation 4.
[UPDATE]: Sony has reportedly fixed the issue as seen by their tweet here. According to them, the PlayStation was going into a crash loop and was not getting bricked.
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