Nintendo rolls out fix for "un-patchable" Switch jailbreak

Joanna Estrada
July 13, 2018

It appears that the days of Nintendo Switch homebrew may soon be over.

The flaw was thought to be un-patchable as it affected the Nvidia Tegra X1 chip that sits at the heart of the console. The vulnerability was discovered by hacker Katherine Temkin and the hacking group ReSwitched. "Ultimate, Nintendo Switch will be the best-selling console of the fourth quarter in unit sales, while also elevating the platform to be the best-selling console of the year", said Piscatella on the NPD Group blog. Friendly reminder: if you want a hacked switch, don't update. The lower the better.

Because this particular flaw in the Nvidia Tegra chips occurs at the hardware level, Nintendo's patch reportedly involved using a system called "iPatches", which applies specific bits of code to the processor's fuses that fix flaws in hardware operations.

The report comes from prolific Switch hardware hacker SciresM, who writes that at least some Switches now on retail shelves are not vulnerable to the coldboot exploit known in hacking circles as "Fusée Gelée".

While the hack can not be patched on existing hardware as we originally reported (with well over 15 million Tegra 210 powered Nintendo Switch consoles on the market and the release of custom firmware solutions presumably close, the homebrew scene is likely to thrive as well as piracy in all likelihood), Nintendo hasn't been sitting idle in its anti-piracy efforts. Though we suspect hackers will try their luck once newer Nintendo Switch hardware hits the market such as a new hardware revision codenamed Mariko.

The report highlighted that the fixed Nintendo Switch consoles are still running the older 4.1.0 firmware, and not the version 5.0.0 firmware which was released in March.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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