Despite Nintendo’s Efforts, Hackers Believed​ Nintendo Switch Can Be Cracked

Apr 15, 2017 04:05 AM EDT | Yen Palec

Despite Nintendo's effort to make the Switch as secure as they could, many hackers still believe that the new console can be cracked. The Nintendo 3DS and Wii U were extensively modded by the hacking community through the years, and they are optimistic that they can do the same to the Nintendo Switch.

In December last year, Nintendo launched a bug bounty program together with the HackOne service. The program offers hackers bounties ranging from $100 to as much as $20,000 to find bugs and exploits. The program was initially intended for the 3DS, but has since been extended to cover the Switch.

Ardent Nintendo hackers believe that the Switch may have a custom operating system that will allow the console to load custom games and applications. A hacker named Stan told Kotaku, "[Nintendo is] nowhere near where Sony's at with protecting their IP and their consoles from exploits and hacking. So it's just like every other Nintendo console at this point."

Hackers were quick to set their sights into cracking the Switch. In fact, a vulnerability was discovered earlier this year using an iOS jailbreaking tool.

The idea of joining bug bounty programs like the one launch by Nintendo and HackerOne have always been a gray area of discussions for hackers. While some believe it is a good way of protecting intellectual properties and keeping consoles secure, some believe that it is violating some fundamental hacking ethos.

Some in the hacking community even believe that these bug bounty programs open up more vulnerability than they can patch. Companies, like Nintendo, are obliged to disclose all the changes that were made for every patch that they release. A skilled developer can simply check the changes made and look for a vulnerability from there.

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