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Hacker praises Nintendo's security efforts on Switch, but says the system is now "completely compromised"

Hacker SciresM recently sat down for an interview with the GBATemp forum to talk about hacking efforts on the Switch. SciresM started off by praising Nintendo's security efforts on the system.

I think that software-wise, Nintendo has done a really great job. Their operating system, Horizon, is a new, updated version of the OS on the 3DS -- with all of the hardening that has come from the 3DS's years of security issues. There have been a few unfortunate mistakes on their part, but by and large HOS is extremely secure. We've still not seen even one traditional exploitable vulnerability in the HOS kernel, which I think speaks well of the investment Nintendo has been making into securing their platform. I think that the Switch's biggest weakness, security-wise, is that it's running on (and has to be designed around) the Tegra X1 hardware.

After sharing those kind words, SciresM then said the Switch is now "completely compromised."

The switch has been completely compromised. All current hardware can be compromised. They can mitigate vulnerabilities in newer units, though, either via a hardware revision or updating the bootrom patches written at the factory.

SciresM ended things by saying that the hackers he's involved with have no interest in piracy, and are instead focused on creating a healthy homebrew community.

Categories: Top Stories, Consoles
Tags: switch

Comments

Top Rated Comment
berrix
Tue Apr 10 18 09:58am
Rating: 13

"I laced this entire kindergarten with flammable insulation that just a tiny spark can set it ablaze, but it's not my fault if it catches fire."

So there is no way NIntendo and Nvidia can find a solution to this? We all know that piracy is inevitable now.

The can block this but only with a hardware revision or bootrom upgrade (as the post says).

Nothing can be done to patch existing hardware.

Guess the revision is coming sooner than later, then. Or perhaps just the next batch of Switches will be upgraded?

Tue Apr 10 18 09:54am
(Updated 1 time)

It could be as simple as changing some code at the factory. It might not even need new hardware, but the units that are already out there won't get that kind of update.

Yeah they could begin flashing new bootrom at the factory which may prevent the current hacks but they can’t update the bootrom once the Switch leaves the factory.

It’s also entirely possible that both a bootrom update and hardware revision are needed to completely mitigate against this hack/vulnerability and who’s to say the next batch of bootrom and hardware won’t have a vulnerability too.

The Wii and 3DS have gone through many internal revisions which only slowed things down slightly but never stopped homebrew or piracy.

Honestly Sony did the right thing with their Linux on PS3 initially but then they removed that, and after they did, guess what happened? PS3 remained piracy free until the safe homebrew option was removed.

If Nintendo released officially homebrew kits or had a Linux sandbox on Switch then there would be no need to find exploits for homebrew.

dtfaux
Tue Apr 10 18 09:22am
Rating: 5

SciresM ended things by saying that the hackers he's involved with have no interest in piracy, and are instead focused on creating a healthy homebrew community.

I understand that no one person or group can command an online community, but it always bugs me about how much effort they put into opening the doors to hacking and homebrewing, but practically shrug
off inevitable piracy.

jayvir
Tue Apr 10 18 09:32am
Rating: 1

Exactly. They may not have interest in piracy but they essentially allow those who would a free open door. It's quite irresponsible

berrix
Tue Apr 10 18 09:58am
Rating: 13

"I laced this entire kindergarten with flammable insulation that just a tiny spark can set it ablaze, but it's not my fault if it catches fire."

orian
Tue Apr 10 18 11:09am
Rating: 1

This is the kind of news that I really feel like GoNintendo shouldn't be reporting on. Especially given Nintendo's past issues with piracy on the DS and Wii.

nintyrift
Tue Apr 10 18 11:32am
Rating: 1

While I can see where you're coming from, I don't think ignoring a problem altogether helps to solve one.

Nintendo has obviously improved, but still has a long way to go. Reporting on these things can be both helpful and harmful, but ultimately in the end, I think that reporting on these things helps Nintendo keep pushing security in the future. If people weren't talking about hacking the Switch and the vulnerabilities it already has, they might not even realize it's as widespread of an issue as it is.

I honestly don't think this does much harm to begin with. The people who are actually interested in hacking Nintendo consoles already follow other communities where this kind of news is the focus. I don't think GoNintendo really brings in many more hackers

If Nintendo can get systems with the latest update hitting stores soon, I don't think it will be that wide spread. I imagine a very very high percentage of existing owners are using the latest update.

And where exactly were all the people wagging their finger at hackers when homebrew devs that included anti-piracy features in their software were being threatened and criticized to oblivion?

Platitudes about not supporting piracy is all you're going to get until doing something more actually gets real support.

I like how there are "Hackers" that are somehow "famous" enough that they get interviews. And somehow people are just cool with that.

reynard
Tue Apr 10 18 03:33pm
(Updated 1 time)

FFS guys, at least let the console have a lifespan before you bust it open.

RMC said:
SciresM ended things by saying that the hackers he's involved with have no interest in piracy, and are instead focused on creating a healthy homebrew community.
lol

No interest in piracy. Wait until some in the HomeBrew community makes an app that let's you play any Switch ISO/ROM, whether you ripped it legitimately or download it from the Internet

So... FreeShop/Wii U USB Downloader Switch version when

shadowbuster
Wed Apr 11 18 12:37am
(Updated 1 time)

Again with the demonizing of hackers in these forums... Yisus 😖

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