A simple message containing certain symbols could crash the Sony PlayStation 4

Pierluigi Paganini October 16, 2018

PlayStation 4 gaming consoles could crash when they receive messages containing certain symbols from fellow gamers.

The consoles could freeze on while the owners are playing their preferred games, the DoS condition is triggered while the devices are parsing symbols in messages received.

“There is a new glitch that basically bricks your console and forces you to factory reset it. Even deleting the message from the mobile app doesn’t work. It happened to me during Rainbow Six: Siege. A player from the other team used a dummy account to send the message and crashed my entire team. We all have had to factory reset. Only one of our guys wasn’t affected and he has his messages private.” reads a thread on Reddit.

Many users reported the glitch in the PlayStation 4, even deleting the message from the mobile app the problem persists. Some users fixed the issue by restoring the gaming console to factory settings, but in this way, they have lost data related to their game if they did not subscribe to PS Plus service that backs them up automatically to Sony cloud.

PlayStation 4 parser error

According to the Reddit thread, some gamers playing online multiplayer games sent the malicious message to the members of the opposing team, causing them crashing.

The error triggered by the message was tracked as with the PS4 code CE-36329-3.

Fortunately, the issue could be easily fixed by deleting the crashing message from the mobile app.

Experts recommend to rebuild the database of the console to completely fix the problem, below the step-by-step procedure:

  1. Turn off the PS4 system by pressing the power button on the front panel. The power indicator will blink for a few moments before turning off.
  2. Once the PS4 system is off, press and hold the power button again. Release it after you hear the second beep: one beep will sound when you first press, and another seven seconds later.
  3. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4 with the USB cable and press the PS button on the controller.
  4. Select the Rebuild Database option


  1. Go to Settings > Account Management > Privacy Settings
  2. Enter your password
  3. Select Personal Info | Messaging
  4. Set Messages to either Friends or No
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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – PlayStation 4, hacking)

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