Nintendo Switch 'Jailbreak' Exploit Uncovered, Root Access Found in Hidden WebKit Browser [VIDEO]
The world renowned teenage Italian hacker, Luca Todesco, more notably known for his jailbreaking efforts on Apple's iOS operating system, has reportedly now managed to "jailbreak" the recently released Nintendo gaming console, the Nintendo Switch. The hacker managed to get root access to the console's systems by employing the same technique he had used on iOS 9 devices.
According to the hacker, via Tech Crunch, the hack itself was just a proof of concept he wanted to try out. The pseudo-jailbreak essentially allowed him to access the system and run any arbitrary code on the console. Theoretically, this would allow anyone to change the Nintendo Switch's system, interface, and other functionalities.
Just to be clear: I did not jailbreak the Switch. I simply demonstrated a proof of concept exploit that gives me code exec in the browser.
— qwertyoruiop (@qwertyoruiopz) March 13, 2017
The exploit is reportedly the same bug in the browser software on iOS 9, which is also present in the Nintendo Switch. The jailbreaking code has been made available and consists of a web server that allows code to be sent to the console through its browser.
The Nintendo Switch uses a hidden WebKit browser, which is essential when the device needs to connect to a Wi-Fi network. Taking advantage of the browser, which isn't connected to the console main operating system, allows users to send commands to the Switch and affect its basic functions.
The exploit, found in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) website, reveals that it is basically the same process found on the WebKit in Apple iOS 9.3.5 and below. The exploit, officially named CVE-2016-4657, is also very easy to execute with any device that runs an unprotected version of the WebKit.
Seeing as that the flaw is currently now out in the open, it probably won't be long until Nintendo releases an update that would render the exploit quite harmless. The Nintendo Switch hack also doesn't necessarily mean that there will be pirated games for the console anytime soon. Development of these kinds of hacks does take time, and console manufacturers are already prepared for these kinds of hacks ever since the mass hacking of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles.