A newly discovered bug in the Nintendo Switch console cannot be fixed by a software update.
(CCM) — A bug in the Nintendo Switch's boot ROM means that the console is now ripe for exploitation by hackers and software pirates.
Thanks to the bug it will soon be possible to run pirated software on the devices, as well as "homebrew" applications written by hackers for their own amusement. It should also enable users to back up their saved game data — a capability which Nintendo has tried to prevent, ironically because it feared it might have left the console vulnerable to hackers.
According to the failOverflow hacking group, the bug cannot be fixed by a software or firmware update. "Since this bug is in the Boot ROM, it cannot be patched without a hardware revision, meaning all Switch units in existence today are vulnerable, forever," it said in a blog post. "Nintendo can only patch Boot ROM bugs during the manufacturing process," it added.
The bug has to be exploited every time the Nintendo Switch console is switched on, in the same way as a "tethered" jailbreak works on an iOS device. The holy grail for hackers is an "untethered" jailbreak, which runs once and has a permanent effect on the device in question.
The bug actually exists in the Nvidia Tegra X1 chip in the Switch console, which means that any other devices which use the Tegra X1 chip may also be vulnerable to hacking as well.
Image: © Nintendo.