It was just a matter of time before the Nintendo Switch got hacked. We recently talked about a boot vulnerability that hackers claimed could not be patched. Later on, we saw Linux running on the device and now we are getting word of a Nintendo Switch hacking tool that can crack any firmware. It has been confirmed that this is a hardware exploit and cannot be fixed unless the hardware is revised.
What this means is that every Nintendo Switch that exists today can be hacked. Homebrew software is in the works and should be available sometime later this year. Other than that touch-enabled version of Linux with 3D acceleration support is now available. The hackers claim that Google, Nvidia and Nintendo knew about this exploit. According to hacker Katherine Temkin:
“By carefully constructing a USB control request, an attacker can leverage this vulnerability to copy the contents of an attacker-controlled buffer over the active execution stack, gaining control of the Boot and Power Management processor (BPMP) before any lock-outs or privilege reductions occur,”
Fail0verflow is a veteran console hacker and is one of the people behind the Nintendo Switch hacking tool. The instructions regarding how this can be achieved can be accessed here. According to fail0verflow:
“Choosing whether to release an exploit or not is a difficult choice. Given our experiences with past consoles, we’ve been wary of releasing vulnerability details or exploits for fear of them being used primarily for piracy rather than homebrew.”
Piracy can be a huge concern for Nintendo. We have already seen how it turned out for the PS2 and Xbox 360 and while the PS4 hack is relatively new, it is still there. It does effect sales of games and this is never a good thing for a platform. Sony has the numbers though. Failoverflow further went on to say the following:
“That said, the Tegra bootrom bug is so obvious that multiple people have independently discovered it by now; at best, a release by other homebrew teams is inevitable, while at worst, a certain piracy modchip team might make the first move. 90 days ago, we begun the responsible disclosure process with Google, as Tegra chips are often used in Android devices. The disclosure deadline has now lapsed. The bug will be made public sooner or later, likely sooner, so we might as well release now along with our Linux boot chain and kernel tree, to make it very clear that we do this for fun and homebrew, and nothing else.”
Nintendo is not the kind of company to take things lightly and this fun could lead to trouble from Nintendo. We will have to wait and see what the company has to say about this Nintendo Switch hacking tool and what Nintendo has planned in order to prevent this from happening if that is even possible.
Let us know what you think about this Nintendo Switch hacking tool and whether or not this is something that you are interested in.