Remember a little while back there was that little ripple made on the Internet when the hacker qwertyoruiop hacked the Nintendo Switch and made a browser out of it? If not, read more on that here. Anyway, it turns out that the big N really is being proactive in its anti-hacking measures. Using a platform called HackerOne, they’re actually paying white hat hackers to find security problems with the Switch so they can fix them. They’ve employed this method for some of their other consoles, like the 3DS, and had success with it. IN fact, they’re already seeing results with the Switch as well.
Yup, not only are they offering $100 for every bug or issue discovered, the potential payoff reaches all the way up to $20k. No fooling. The HackerOne Nintendo page has the full details, but to sum it up: Nintendo reads the bug report and, based on how detailed it is (including proof code and all that) and the severity of the exploit, then decides the monetary amount to reward for it. Reporters are paid as soon as the problem is fixed and can modify their report with further details up to three weeks after submitting it.
As for what Nintendo’s looking for (deep breath) – game dumping, copied game execution, modifying game and save data, distribution of inappropriate content to kids, privilege modification, cloning and security key detection, kernel takeover, and Userland takeover. Those are all for the Switch system, though the 3DS merits are listed as well, and include the same generalities listed for the Switch plus takeover of its ARM structure.
In their reports, hackers are requested to provide the system and version number, region, what the issue is, how to perform it, how it can be used, and to confirm that it’s not publicly known. Finally, hired hackers are, of course, not allowed to disclose their findings with anyone other than Nintendo. If you enjoy feeling around the innards of technology, why not get on board? Nintendo’s already making payouts as you read this.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.