Nintendo and jailbreak sound as natural in a sentence as ocean and sky does. It's a harmonic duo which has existed for as long as the consoles themselves. The Nintendo Switch is the fastest selling Nintendo console ever and is possibly the most requested console ever in terms of jailbreaking. The device would be beyond perfect for things like emulators or homebrew which makes it such a tasty target for hackers.
Hackers have been slowly but steadily finding more and more security vulnerabilities in the Switch OS throughout 2017 but nothing actually allowed the user to run homebrew code on the console. This may change soon as a talk at the 34th Chaos Communication Congress (34C3) in Leipzig Germany demonstrated kernel-access on the Nintendo Switch which thereby results in almost full control over the Switch hardware.
While the 45-minute long talk may not be for everyone, it certainly is worth watching for the technically inclined. In short, the video describes the use of exploits to gain access to the system, which is standard for security penetration.
The interesting part is the use of a $700 Jetson TX1 development kit which happens to have such a similar SoC to that of the Nintendo Switch that the hackers got significant insight into the Switch's innards just by experimenting with the development kit.
fail0verflow jumped on the bandwagon on January 7th, where they demonstrated a "coldboot exploit" which was used to make the simple sidescroller seen below:
We made a nice scroller for Switch :) pic.twitter.com/kUWTVMQf8s— fail0verflow (@fail0verflow) January 7, 2018
While it all seems cool and all, the real breaking news are that the exploit used is not patchable on current Nintendo Switch devices, which reminds us of the situation with the iPhone 3GS where Apple stopped the production mid-way and patched the bootrom.
In case it wasn't obvious, our Switch coldboot exploit:— fail0verflow (@fail0verflow) January 16, 2018
* Is a bootrom bug
* Can't be patched (in currently released Switches)
* Doesn't require a modchip to pull offhttps://t.co/LLadlEmm44
This is amazing news as it means that the 10 million units already sold can all be pwned permanently where not even OS updates could hinder the exploit. There is no information on when and where the exploit may be released, if at all, however, seeing that the exploit has been found it wouldn't be too surprising to see a full jailbreak show up in the coming months, if not weeks.
What are your thoughts on this? Are you happy to see the Nintendo Switch pwned? Let us know in the comments below!
via Ars Technica