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Nintendo Switch jailbreak: Console hacked just days after launch

(Nintendo)A promotional image for the Nintendo Switch

It took only a few days before hackers were able to jailbreak the Nintendo Switch.

Interestingly enough, the hack was done through a web browser, a feature which the Nintendo Switch should not have in the first place. The hidden feature was set up to allow users to access Wi-Fi. Some public networks have "captive portal" web pages, for log-in purpose or for the acceptance of terms, that users need to visit before they can have Wi-Fi access.

This is actually why most hackers are able to hijack systems. While patches have already rolled out to address this security bug for other devices, it seems that what was installed on the Nintendo Switch is an outdated version of the WebKit, which allowed the hackers to compromise the captive portal page in order to execute their own codes.

Luca Todesco, one of the hackers who has built a reputation for jailbreaking Apple products such as the iPhone and the iPad, said that all he had to do was to tweak his existing jailbreakMe iOS Webkit exploit to remove the iOS-specific codes to get into the Nintendo Switch system.

On his Twitter account, he was quick to deny that he actually did jailbreak the gaming console. He said he "simply demonstrated a proof of concept exploit that gives me code exec in the browser." Regardless of what he did, what his actions prove is that there is a possibility for the device to be broken into.

No rumors of emulators or home-brewed software for the device have surfaced yet; probably because it just came out of the market. However, it is not unlikely that some will surface in the next months, as some intrepid developers will find their way into breaking into the system.

Jailbreaking is usually done on handheld consoles to allow users to play illegally acquired games or to load home-brewed applications that otherwise would not be compatible with a gadget's system.

It is highly likely that Nintendo will be releasing a patch to deal with this security vulnerability.

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