New Nintendo Switch Units Come With Hardware Patches To Make Them More Hack-Proof


Several months ago it was reported that the hacking community had found a way to hack the Switch permanently. By using an exploit that affects all Tegra X1-based systems, they were able to run arbitrary code on the hybrid console.

At the time the reports came out, the exploit was thought to be unpatchable even by Nintendo, but now it seems the company has since been working on a solution.

The company is now reportedly selling Switch units that have been fixed at the factory stage to protect against the aforementioned exploit. The report comes from SciresM, who is well-known in the Switch hacking scene. According to him, at least some Switches on retail shelves are not vulnerable to the so-called Fusée Gelée hack. He suspects that Nintendo used the iPatch system on the Nvidia Tegra chip to burn new protective code into the boot ROM, which effectively cuts off the USB recovery mode overflow error that allowed hackers access in the first place.

New Switch Units Have Upgraded Security Codes

The newly protected Switch units are reportedly loaded with firmware version 4.1.0, which means they're pretty outdated considering Nintendo released firmware version 5.0.0 in March. Them having older firmware indicates that the units were patched earlier this year, even before the Fusée Gelée hack made the rounds this past April, as Ars Technica notes. Nintendo has yet to comment on such claims, however.

Ultimately, though, SciresM says firmware version 4.1.0 remains susceptible to a yet-to-be-published software-level exploit technique he has developed called deja vu. However, that exploit has reportedly been patched out of firmware version 5.0.0.

The Switch Hacking Scene

In any case, the Switch hacking scene is clearly getting fiercer as weeks go by. There seems to be an active effort to fully exploit the system so as to implement a lot of features that Nintendo otherwise would not allow players to have. That includes, of course, features such as cloud saving, custom profile pictures, and many others. Piracy is still an incredibly slippery slope, however, and though some hackers are more ethical than others, a great many of them will inevitably find a way to pirate games, which could ultimately hurt the industry.

Nintendo has to hope that it's smart and quick enough to deal with these exploits as they come. The Switch itself, meanwhile, seems like it's doing extremely well despite the hacks. It's still selling like hotcakes in many countries, and there are a bunch of much-anticipated titles headed to the console later this year and beyond. Nintendo hopes to sell 20 million Switch units by the end of the current fiscal year. By the rate the Switch is selling, that goal seems perfectly possible.

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