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Nintendo Switch Homebrew Exploit Discovered

Nintendo Switch Homebrew Exploit Discovered

While Nintendo is no fan of customer bootloaders, the data exfiltration is a bigger concern as it could lead to Switch games being pirated.

The exploit can be viewed on GitHub and while it is not as user friendly in its current state, it does work as a proof of concept of what to expect from the Nintendo Switch homebrew scene. The earlier software-level exploits of Nintendo systems could be mitigated through downloadable system updates that Nintendo attempts to force on the users by making them a need for new software and access to Nintendo's online servers. Since this is something that can affect every Nintendo Switch unit now in circulation, Nintendo will likely be looking to clamp down and release a hardware revision soon.

A newly discovered hardware exploit allows for the execution of arbitrary code on devices powered by Nvidia's Tegra processors. What this means more simply is that the exploit can't be easily patched out, as it's an intrinsic part of the Switch.

Writing in an FAQ about the find, Ms Temkin said: 'Fusée Gelée isn't a ideal, "holy grail exploit-though in some cases it can be pretty damned close'". They're calling it the Fusée Gelée coldboot vulnerability, and in short, it leverages a vulnerability that exists in the NVIDIA Tegra X1's USB recovery mode. This seems like a pretty risky thing to do to a near £300 console, but hackers from Fail0verflow jokingly tweeted a picture of a device to do so, as well as a piece of wire that suggests the shorting isn't too tricky. This process gives hackers access to the normally-protected application stack. "The relevant vulnerability is the result of a "coding mistake" in the read-only bootROM found in most Tegra devices", Temkin explained in a FAQ.

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However, as a temporary measure, they may be able to detect hacked systems and lock them out of their online facilities - including gameplay. This includes Nintendo's wildly popular Switch, which has been under the scope of several hacking groups this past year.

As such, there's no simple patch that Nintendo can release to solve the issue, and leaves the Switch open to all sorts of manipulation. It is now only a matter of time before developers rush to crack DRM on games.

In this version, the controller can be used much like a classic system, with grips and buttons on both sides.


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