The Nintendo Switch is only just a couple of weeks old, but it looks like hackers are well on their way to jailbreaking the console. A person called qwertyuiopz has released a proof-of-concept attack on the Switch that allows arbitrary code to be executed.
This attack relies on using a Webkit vulnerability to execute code in a web browser environment. Which is particularly interesting since the Switch doesn’t actually have a browser in the traditional sense. Instead, it has a popup window that appears in the event that the users wants to connect to a protected WiFi network; like those found in airports and Starbucks.
Interestingly, this hack was also used to jailbreak iOS 9. Which is why the hacker believes that his method can be expanded to gain more control over the Switch.
However, it should be noted that this is not a true jailbreak. Not yet anyway. All this shows is that there is a way to execute code and modify the memory content of the console. It is a way in, but will likely take a lot more work before anyone is able to run their own programmes on the Switch.
Jailbreaking consoles has become progressively more difficult as manufacturers become more careful. Nintendo has traditionally had weaker DRM and security than the Sony and Microsoft. Hackers are able to the the 3DS to run custom games and ROMs.
That said, the Switch represents something new for Nintendo. And it might be the start of a far more secure system. Also, news of this proof-of-concept may spur the company to close the vulnerability and make things harder for the hackers.
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