ESP8266, the cheap device that’s a PS4 hacking match made in heaven
Since the recent PS4 exploits have been released for firmware 4.05 and 4.55, hackers all around the world have been busy porting the exploit hosting functionality to a variety of devices. The recent PS4 hacks require tinkerers to access a url to run the exploit. This can be done through a variety of ways, but works best when served from your own local device (typically, a PC, or an Android phone).
A tiny device is emerging as the new champion to replace your PC for hacking the PS4 though: the ESP8266. The ESP8266 is a tiny electronic module, typically aimed at DIY developers, that ships with basic Wifi functionality.
In theory, it’s not super useful on its own and is better used for DIYers working on electronic projects. But in the case of PS4 hacks, the device is perfect: loaded with the PS4 exploit payloads, it can act as a fake Wifi router for your PS4, that will instantly run the exploit for you. On top of that, its power needs are entirely fulfilled by the PS4’s usb port.
In other words, the ESP8266 can act as a perfect self contained loader for your PS4 exploit, with no need for a PC, or any internet connection. And, perhaps more importantly, you can find it on pretty much any retailer for just a few bucks.
Multiple PS4 scene tinkerers have already started using the device and keep praising its benefits (mine is still being shipped as I type this). Some of the device’s limitations are actually a strength in the case of PS4 hacks: for example, the device is not an actual Wifi Router, meaning there’s no risk your console would connect to the internet to download any unwanted update. And obviously, it’s fully re-flashable to update with the latest versions of the payloads whenever needed. The developer outlines more benefits:
Benefits of using esp-host
- extremely low cost hardware , available worldwide
- ability to run 24/7 via usb, self-hosted payloads, no external apps or programs required.
- includes stable payloads, no memory errors or reloading pages.
- completely block all updates
- no need for custom dns server or settings, features automatic redirect.
- easy to program and update via usb
- very low power consumption
Below is a video from user Gabs73 showing the device in action:
Developer Codworth has ported the 4.xx payloads to the esp8266, and gives detailed explanations on how to install and run the payloads through this tiny devices. (Side note: fingers crossed that he eventually provides the actual changes he’s made to compile the payloads for the device…)
Youtube user sthetix has a great tutorial for those who want to give it a try:
Long term, we could imagine additional mods of the device, or cases to have the device integrate more nicely with the PS4 🙂
Where can I get an ESP8266?
There are multiple versions of the esp8266, and Codworth says any version with 4MB of flash memory (or more will work). Hint: it seems most of these ship with 4MB by design, but the developer recommends this model or that one.
Download and run the PS4 Payloads for ESP8266 (esphost)
You can download the payloads from the developer’s github here. On the same page, the developer gives details on how to flash the payload onto the ESP8266, reproduced below:
-ESP8266 Module with at least 4M flash
-Firmware 4.55 or 4.05
-esphost.bin or esphostmulti.bin or esphostmulti405.bin
Payloads included in esphost.bin
-VORTEX HEN 1.4
Payloads included in esphostmulti.bin
– HEN (stable)
– HEN+VR (stable)
– FTP (stable)
– DUMPER (stable)
– BACKUP (stable)
Flash esp host using the following command:
sudo esptool.py –port /dev/ttyUSB0 write_flash 0x00000 ./esphostmulti.bin
-after flashing completes, connect to “PS4-WIFI” using “easy setting” then go to [Settings] > [User Guide]
-NOTE: windows users must use the appropriate com port when flashing with esptool.py
-NOTE2: users can optionally flash using the GUI version of esptool https://github.com/Rodmg/esptool-gui