Nintendo slams door on Switch hackers – but console is still vulnerable
Nintendo is taking action to combat the infamous Nvidia Tegra security flaw that enabled hackers to exploit its Switch console and run unofficial and pirated software.
The first Nintendo Switch units with hardware patching the vulnerability have been spied in the wild, according to various reports. The updated hardware uses the iPatches system to stamp out one of the vulnerabilities known as f-g (or fusée gelée).
The so-called ‘unpatchable’ exploit was discovered in April and had enabled explorative Switch owners to run emulators or homebrewed software on the hybrid console. One hacker had SNES games running perfectly on his Switch console.
However, Nintendo’s patch adds a protective code to the boot ROM, according to reports. This eliminates the USB recovery error that hackers had exploited to crack Switch consoles in the first place.
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Word of the patch comes from @SciresM on Twitter (via Engadget), who was also the first to warn users that hacking a Switch console could get you banned from the Nintendo online network.
The hacker also says that Nintendo isn’t out of the woods just yet. The new consoles still arrive with firmware 4.1.0 which is vulnerable to a different exploit called ‘deja vu’. This enables the TrustZone hardware security tech to be compromised.
The flaw was patched by the 5.0.0 firmware update, but that hasn’t been released yet because it is reportedly being held for the so-called Mariko Switch hardware tweak. This is said to include a faster, safer Tegra 214 processor and double the RAM.
No world yet on when 5.0.0 will roll out to the wider Switch community, but hackers are advising that if you want to run homebrewed software on a Switch, you’ll want to steer well clear.
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