HowTo: use a proxy server with your PS4 to sniff PSN traffic (SKFU Pr0xy)
The following guide covers the very basics of how to install and run a proxy server on your local computer to use with your PS4. This allows you to study how the PS4 communicates with Sony’s servers, for various reasons. A proxy lets you block some of the traffic (which has been useful in the past to let users access Netflix on their PS3 even when they didn’t have PSN access), or replace some of the traffic with connections to your own server (useful for being able to connect to the PSN on a lower firmware), or simply because you’d like to know what type of information your console sends to Sony’s servers.
Charles proxy is probably the most popular proxy around here, but it is commercial software. Thankfully, scene dev SKFU has been creating and updating his own proxy server for windows, and this is the tool I will be showing today.
There’s nothing really complex with installing and running SKFU’s pr0xy server, but many people assume it’s difficult and don’t even give it a try. Hopefully this tutorial will prove them wrong.
1. Download, install and run SKFU Proxy
Download SKFU Pr0xy here. Just get the zip and extract it to a folder of your choice.
double click on SKFUPr0xy.exe to start the skfu proxy interface. It should look like something like this:
SKFU pr0xy in theory detects your computer’s IP address automatically. This is important because you will need to enter this information in the PS4 later on.
Assuming SKFU pr0xy has correctly detected your IP address, all you need to do is click on the “start” button
2. Setup the proxy connection on your PS4
The PS4 Network settings have options to connect through a proxy, there is no dangerous manipulation involved here. Just go to “Settings”, then “Network”
Go to “Set up internet connection”, then select the default option for every step until you reach the “Proxy Server” step. There, select “Use”.
In the “Address” field, input the IP address of your computer as displayed in SKFU proxy. For the port number, use the port number given to you by SKFU pr0xy (8080 by default, which conveniently also happens to be the default given by the PS4)
For the other steps, select the default answer, and you’re done!
To make sure everything works, test your internet connection on the PS4 (last step of the setting). If things go well, the “internet connection test” should work, and you should start seeing some activity in SKFU pr0xy:
You can now navigate on your PS4, on the PSN, etc… to see how the PS4 communicates with the Sony servers. In the screenshot below, I captured the interaction between the PS4 and Sony’s server when checking for a “Firmware update”. This told me the PS4 firmware update information can be found at http://fus01.ps4.update.playstation.net/update/ps4/list/us/ps4-updatelist.xml. This is of course not groundbreaking information, but that’s the basics.
SKFU Pr0xy offers additional tools to filter some requests, replace some requests with others, etc… it lets you manipulate the queries sent by your PS4 to the Sony network, as well as the replies from the servers themselves. Enjoy 🙂
If your PS4 doesn’t find SKFU pr0xy: make sure they are connected on the same network (I personally prefer to plug both the PS4 and the computer through LAN in these conditions, rather than Wifi), and that your router does not block communications through the used port (8080 in that case)