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New Exploit Allows Running PS2 Games On PS4 And PS5

A new PlayStation exploit has emerged that appears to allow users to run PS2 games on both PS4 and PS5 consoles.

A hacker who goes by the name of CTurt shared a video on Youtube showing PS2 software running on a PS4 and PS5, along with a description of the method he used to achieve this on Github.

According to CTurt, this is a proof of concept demonstration of loading custom PS2 games using the mast1c0re emulator escape exploit. In his post on Github, he states that it had been a long time since he last worked on modern PlayStation hacking, but with the release of the PS5 and the introduction of PlayStation’s bug bounty program, he was motivated to attempt some kind of exploit chain that would work on the PS5.

He settled on attacking the PS2 emulator, which turned out to be a very appealing target for a number of reasons, which are stated below.

  1. Escaping it would grant the ability to run pirated PS2 games on the PS4, PS5, and potentially also the PSN cloud gaming service
  2. The PS2 emulator is some of the last remaining JIT privileged code on the PS5
  3. Under PlayStation’s security model it’s essentially unpatchable

In conclusion, CTurt states that PS2 piracy has enjoyable implication, especially because of being able to disclose it despite there being no patch. However, his primary goal was to get native homebrew applications running. Regarding that goal, escaping the emulator is just the first half of the chain; it’s not yet possible to write arbitrary native code since the application process only has permission to map JIT shared memory as executable, and not writeable.

Technically, it could be possible to write “PS4-enhanced” PS2 homebrew applications that could use any native PS4 functionality, and so could behave essentially the same as normal PS4 homebrew (with access to the PS4 controller’s touchpad, etc.). However, CTurt mainly wanted to achieve fully arbitrary code execution for a more practical homebrew environment.

Muhammad Ali Bari

Muhammad Ali Bari has a knack for covering reviews. He manages our content pipeline, creates timelines for scheduled editorial tasks, and helps us cover exciting content. In his spare time, he enjoys playing multiplayer games.

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