The one thing many console manufacturers fear is hacking their console. Hacking a console opens up the possibility of using piracy as a gateway to the hardware and transferring illegally acquired copyrighted material to the device. Well, the Nintendo Switch was hacked, on a large scale.
Eurogamer reports that the Nintendo Switch has been hacked and the boot ROM of the console has been deleted. This means that hackers can begin to disassemble the operating system and examine how the boot sequence works for the switch, ultimately making homebrew software available to moded switch consoles.
As noted by technology editor Digital Foundry, Richard Leadbetter, homebrew execution on the switch is now a possibility along with touch-enabled features of Linux with 3D acceleration support becoming a reality. The only way to solve this problem is to revise the hardware, which means that Nintendo will not be able to flatten the exploit the way a previous hack could by updating the firmware.
Originally, some hackers could handle firmware version 3.0 with a copy of Pokken Tournament DX to open the switch for homebrew software, including the ability to run some coarse emulators on Nintendo's hybrid system.
Interestingly, the exploit was discovered Some time ago, the hackers who made the discovery informed Nvidia, Nintendo and Google about the exploit. The full documentation was made with the intention of publishing it on June 25, 2018, but after the ROM dump, the hackers decided to publish the information early.
It focuses on the Nvidia Tegra SoCs, which can be compromised independently of the software. This means that it is at a hardware level and can be used as long as the special line of Tegra SoCs is used.
The initial disclosure to Google and Nvidia actually began at the beginning of 2018, with the hackers warning against it. At best, there will be homebrew software (which has already happened), but in the worst case it will be piracy ROM dumps give a modchip to Nintendo Switch owners.
As some of you know, a modchip would allow switch owners to crack the system and use all sorts of software on the switch, including pirated games.
As noted by Leadbetter in the Eurogamer article, Nintendo can now only work with Nvidia to provide software protection checks to remove hacked consoles from accessing the Nintendo network. This is something that Microsoft has used for modded Xbox 360 consoles and prevents both the console and the Xbox Live account from accessing the online services.
The only safe way forward is to change the exploitable gap at the hardware level. This means that Nintendo and Nvidia must pump out a new hardware vision of the switch to prevent the exploit from being used on newer consoles. Of course, there is still the problem that all of the existing Nintendo Switch units in the wild are vulnerable to the hack.