New Nintendo Switch batch reportedly patched against exploit

JC Torres - Jul 11, 2018
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New Nintendo Switch batch reportedly patched against exploit

The Nintendo Switch is one of recent times’ most interesting gaming consoles and it isn’t only gamers that are loving it. Its tightly locked system has challenged hackers and modders to find exploits that will let them break into the system. One such vulnerability named Fusée Gelée was supposedly impossible to patch on existing Switch systems. However, reports now claim that a fresh new batch of Switch consoles are invulnerable to it without actually changing anything in the hardware.

The Fusée Gelée exploit relies on a bug in the NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor’s USB recovery mode that can be caused to overflow and yield privileged access to the Switch firmware. Because of the nature of that mode, the code is stored in the secure portion of the chip that can’t be modified after it leaves the factory. As such, hackers have claimed that the vulnerability cannot be closed on existing consoles.

The key phrase here is “after it leaves the factory” and Nintendo definitely took that to heart. According to Switch hacker SciresM, new Switches being sold are apparently invulnerable to Fusée Gelée. Ars Technica explains that Nintendo may have used the iPatch system to write a fixed code into the Tegra chip during production.

That said, that changes nothing for Switches that have already been sold in the past months. Those can never be patched and remains open to Fusée Gelée. They may, however, be invulnerable to other exploits, including something SciresM is working on.

Called deja vu, the vulnerability will work on any Switch that hasn’t been updated to firmware version 5.0.0 yet. Coincidentally, the new Switches come with 4.1.0 out of the box. SciresM recommends not updating any Switch, old or new, if owners want to keep their consoles exploitable.


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