Nintendo is rooting out 3DS pirates with a little help from the Switch

Nintendo is ramping up its crackdown on hacked handhelds by bringing its Switch-based piracy detection tool to the Nintendo 3DS.

According to a noted hacker, a recent and seemingly-innocuous software update ports over the Switch’s method of detecting when pirated digital games are being played online.

Effectively, it will mean Nintendo may refuse to authorise pirated titles for online use. On the Switch, this has also led to Nintendo banishing users from accessing online services.

In a tweet @SciresM, who is constantly keeping an eye on Nintendo’s software updates for this very reason, says the network will now send the app ticket to Nintendo’s servers at the commencement of an online session and advises gamers to be on the lookout.

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He writes (via Torrent Freak): “Looks like 11.8.0 backports the Switch’s aauth ideas to 3DS — network comms now send an encrypted(?) copy of app ticket to the server,” he reveals. “They may not act on it immediately, but like on Switch this lets [Nintendo] perfectly detect pirate accesses vs normal ones, and ban however they like.”

The release notes for Nintendo’s 11.8.0 update for the 3DS make no mention of the tool. The company said: “Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience.”

The clandestine nature of the update could lead to pirates’ access to online services restricted, if Nintendo notices the anomaly. Unlike other anti-piracy methods that are often by-passed by determined hackers, SciresM isn’t too hopeful this time around.

“It is not possible to do anything about,” he said.

Last month Nintendo slammed the door shut on Switch hackers with new hardware to eradicate the one of the vulnerabilities known as f-g (or fusée gelée). Considering the company is closing in on 20 million sales, it’s no surprise the company is working to ensure all of the software played comes from official sources.

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