Nintendo is offering a bounty to hackers who can find loopholes in its latest console, the Nintendo Switch. Someone who can find a single crack in the Switch can win up to $20,000.
What Nintendo wants to patch
To make sure that its customers do not fall prey to manipulation and experience safe gaming, Nintendo has come up with a susceptibility package which includes a string of activities it is looking to save its customers from. The console maker has partnered with the HackerOne like it did last year during the 3DS program, giving ethical hackers an opportunity to make it big by finding security holes in the hybrid console.
The gaming giant mentioned two different categories of bugs that can harm the Switch. In the first category, there is a mention of flaws such as “privilege escalation from the userland, “kernel takeover” and “ARM TrustZone takeover.” The second category focuses on “Nintendo-published applications and “userland takeover.”
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In all, Nintendo is looking to combat piracy such as game application dumping and copying the game to execute it, cheating which involves saving data modification, and propagation of inappropriate content to children.
“The reward amount depends on the importance of the information and the quality of the report. In general, the importance of the information is higher if the vulnerability is severe, easy-to-exploit, etc,” says a blog post.
Is the Nintendo Switch hack-proof?
So far, there are no reports of the Nintendo Switch being attacked by large-scale hacks, but some features are in the console’s code but not available to users. According to Eurogamer, hackers have already found their way to an Internet browser which is yet to be released to the public. This could give hackers an opportunity to run bugs in the future.
Only last month, a report surfaced that iOS Hacker “qwertyoruiop,” known for jailbreaking multiple iOS versions and PlayStations, used an old trick for iOS 9.3 Webkit browsers to hack the Nintendo Switch. Another hacker, LiveOverflow, confirmed that bugs work on the Nintendo Switch, notes TechWorm
The Nintendo Switch is said to have a very closed operating system, making it difficult for hackers to crack it. This means it is very difficult for hackers to change the way Nintendo Switch works or hack into available games. However, if these reports are to be believed, then hackers have already found their way into the Switch.
Bug bounties are a growing trend
This is not the first time a technology company is offering a large sum of money to anyone who reports a bug. The trend has become quite common in the technology space, where big companies pay experts to find loopholes instead of waking up later to a disaster.
The first ever cash reward program was floated by American computer services company Netscape almost 20 years ago. It offered hackers monetary rewards to discover shortcomings in the Netscape Navigator 2.0 Beta, notes IB Times.