TheVerge : "The Nintendo Switch hacking scene is chaos right now"

Oct 25, 2017
7,604
#1
Following the previous thread about people managing to hack the Switch by a new CFW available through the purchase of an expensive tool, and uploading porn as their user icon :
https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/28/17501530/nintendo-switch-hacking-piracy-porn-bans

For the last few months, fans have been clamoring about an unpatchable hardware exploit that allows people to jailbreak the Nintendo Switch. The excitement around being able to do nearly anything on the console is less theoretical now: people are messing with online games, getting banned by Nintendo, and even locking each other’s consoles over piracy.

As hackers push what the Switch is capable of, they’re running into some of the safety measures Nintendo has in place to stop further tampering. According to established Nintendo hacker SciresM, the Switch’s online network can pinpoint specific hardware, thereby allowing it to make console bans permanent.

But the biggest change from Nintendo’s previous consoles is that Switch game cartridges are signed with certificates at the factory, and these are used to verify if a game is legit. Similarly, digital games also contain data that tie them to specific consoles and Nintendo accounts. This means that pirated copies of Switch games should be easily identified by Nintendo, as the network can pinpoint a discrepancy between the software and your hardware.

While Nintendo has built a system that allows it to identify pirated software, players who are getting their consoles banned aren’t necessarily pirates: they are often just modders. On hacking hubs like GBA Temp, fans are rallying to identify common denominators between different banned Switch users. There’s no clear consensus, other than apparently Nintendo has gotten a bit better about identifying some forms of console modification.

Meanwhile, the people who make some console modifications possible are sparking controversy of their own. The developers of SX Pro, a purchasable dongle that can be plugged into the Nintendo Switch to jailbreak the console, also sell firmware called SX OX, which can be used for homebrew. While the firmware is not explicitly made for the purpose of piracy, it can be used in that way. Ironically, the firmware that opens the door for piracy has people trying to crack it, too, but it seems that Team Xecutters anticipated this. According to users like vulnerability researcher Mike Heskin, the firmware has code that bricks consoles that tamper with program, thereby preventing piracy of software that can be used for piracy. When contacted by The Verge, the team behind SX Pro disputed the specifics of the accusation, but admitted that their software has anti-tampering measures.
More in the article. Trying to blow open your Switch right now seems like the worst of ideas as people don't know what triggers console bricking, and Nintendo seems to be able to detect any modification you make and provides permanent ban at first sight.

UPDATE:
So, it seems the situation around SX is actually even worse. First and foremost, the brickcode is actually even worse than we originally suspected AND can absolutely trigger from normal use:


More over, the whole thing is built on stolen code from the normal Switch devs:


So, not only can it brick your console irreparably, it is built on stolen code.
 
Last edited:
Oct 30, 2017
1,966
#2
If you're piracy inclined buying a second Switch and the SX pro seems like the way to go as long as you want to play 4+ single player games.

The SX pro anti-piracy countermeasures bricking people's consoles is very funny to me. I love online.
 
Dec 21, 2017
2,268
#4
What new development are we supposed to be discussing here? I say if you tamper with your system and it blows up in your face, you have no one to blame but yourself.
 
OP
OP
LordKano
Oct 25, 2017
7,604
#7
What new development are we supposed to be discussing here? I say if you tamper with your system and it blows up in your face, you have no one to blame but yourself.
It's an update on what's happening on the Switch hacking scene, a warning to those who were interested in hacking their Switch doing homebrews (which is legal) and on Nintendo's new measures about online tampering.
 
Jan 11, 2018
2,095
#10
Good for Nintendo.
If you hack your console you can't go online. Fair deal.
This is pretty much my thoughts on the subject as well. People who think it won't be abused need to just look at how fast things like porn pics showed up.

Go hog wild with your system and modding I am 100% in support of homebrew but don't expect to be able to take it online.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,116
#11
For some reason I find it amusing that people are bricking their switch trying to remove drm from a tool that allows piracy that they don’t want to pay for.

People are weird.
 
Jan 15, 2018
1,428
#12
“people are messing with online games, getting banned by Nintendo, and even locking each other’s consoles over piracy.”

Yeah. Not going to help the cross-play cause.
 

Vishmarx

Banned
Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,701
#14
If you're piracy inclined buying a second Switch and the SX pro seems like the way to go as long as you want to play 4+ single player games.

The SX pro anti-piracy countermeasures bricking people's consoles is very funny to me. I love online.
From what i understand , it only bricks your system if youre trying to modify the custom firmware itself. Basically to prevent someone from copying or modifying the cfw.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,317
#21
Wait till other modchip players start jumping into the scene. Matrix guys have already indicated that they're working on their own version of dongle with free CFW.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,957
New Orleans, LA
#22
Give it a year and I'll bet we'll have stable CFW for the Switch as well as an easy access point, so there will be no need to buy an expensive tool.

I understand Nintendo banning online access for consoles that pirate, but it also just encourages them to pirate more because they can no longer use the eShop or any online-related services. If they pirated a little bit before, they're DEFINITELY going to pirate everything now that they're banned.

But I can see why Nintendo would ban people who are tinkering around with the system with mods...this is how people start cheating in games like Mario Kart and Splatoon and ruin the experience for everyone else. Seems like a pretty decent compromise...if you want online and eShop you have to stay vanilla.
There's no such thing as someone that "only pirates a little". You're either legit or you're not. Kick them off every service you can. Unfortunately Nintendo can't outright brick consoles themselves, so they just have to resort to the next best option.
 
Nov 7, 2017
1,205
#25
Good on Nintendo for going after pirates, thieves and super Pirate Thieves. I understand the Switch could be this amazing homebrew super system but can we agree on not messing with when it has only been out for less than two years?
 
Oct 25, 2017
566
#30
gonna take a shot in the dark and assume that most posters didn't read the article, hence just popping in with pointless grandstanding about piracy or giving nintendo attaboys for banning people when this really isn't about that.

Switch homebrew's messiness reminds me of the early days of Vita hacking, where this one guy's tool was programmed to specifically target a few user's Vitas for bricks just because he didn't like them. Early homebrew's wild. Not sure who's lying with respects to the bricking, though. SX OS definitely isn't doing this as a friendly hacking competition like they claim. Dongle devs know their cash cow's gone the second legitimate CFW gets implemented.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,383
#34
homebrewing/hacking scene is always so crazy and hectic when everything is starting to be released and spread, with everyone wanting to try everything without extensive testing. hell, i remember some people even released fake games that brick your system during the early days of vita hacking.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,957
New Orleans, LA
#36
I'm against piracy but love the homebrew scene, it's a shame that you can't seem to be able to have one without the other.
There are multitudes of Switch-like devices and tablets that are running Android or other operating systems and are ready out of the box for "Homebrew". Picking apart a device not designed for such things is folly when you can have a much easier go of it on practically any other device.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,376
#37
good on Nintendo

Splatoon hackers can ruin that game for everyone and fuck people who pirate video games

Well like for example, there are people in the past who pirate maybe one or two 3DS games but they bought the rest of their games. That is a definite phenomenon that happened in the past.

But now it seems to be an all or nothing kind of deal. I don't fault Nintendo for taking a hardline approach on pirates, but anyone who pirates will now go all the way.
this reads like trying to meet in the middle with people who have horrible opinions on a particular topic

if you're going to pirate video games you're going to pirate video games. Nintendo doesn't need to go easier on them because they may go from pirating video games to pirating more video games. they were already pirating video games in the first place! fuck em
 
Oct 25, 2017
566
#38
What new development are we supposed to be discussing here? I say if you tamper with your system and it blows up in your face, you have no one to blame but yourself.
To clarify, this isn't a development so much as an update on the culture surrounding Switch hacking. It's just an insight for people who think that the communities that crop up around these things, and the antics that go on, are fascinating. The shit that goes on in the early days of homebrew, with everyone rushing to be the first, leads to some interesting communities coming together.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,116
#39
So people are getting banned and bricking their console for using hacks that are not yet proven to be safe?
Nah. The bricked console happened because someone is trying to reverse engineer the piracy tool team xecuter is selling. They put in a code to brick the switch if you try to modify the code.
 
Oct 29, 2017
410
#41
Team Xecuter is so lame, they just wanted to be first on the scene no matter the consequences. Hopefully atmosphere will be above all of that goofiness.
 

LQX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
839
#42
I wonder what this might do to used games with people dumping games then selling them to people unaware it is compromised.
 
Dec 28, 2017
2,756
#43
There are multitudes of Switch-like devices and tablets that are running Android or other operating systems and are ready out of the box for "Homebrew". Picking apart a device not designed for such things is folly when you can have a much easier go of it on practically any other device.
Streaming PC games to my Switch using Moonlight is one of the biggest reasons why I bought the device in the first place though. No third party controller for the Shield is going to come close to using Joycons while chilling in bed.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,957
New Orleans, LA
#44
good on Nintendo

Splatoon hackers can ruin that game for everyone and fuck people who pirate video games



this reads like trying to meet in the middle with people who have horrible opinions on a particular topic

if you're going to pirate video games you're going to pirate video games. Nintendo doesn't need to go easier on them because they may go from pirating video games to pirating more video games. they were already pirating video games in the first place! fuck em
Bingo. There's no such thing as stealing "just a little bit". Once you've got the keys to the kingdom you've got too much power and there needs to be a no-tolerance policy on such things.

Streaming PC games to my Switch using Moonlight is one of the biggest reasons why I bought the device in the first place though. No third party controller for the Shield is going to come close to using Joycons while chilling in bed.
Buying a product for a piece of software that it isn't compatible with seems really bizarre, but to each their own.
 
Jan 22, 2018
848
#48
Why in the world would you go online with a console you've hacked? This isn't any different than J-Tagged Xboxes. You could go online with a hacked Wii or Dolphin because Nintendo didn't give a shit about the Wii online service. Now that they're gonna be charging online, you bet your bottom dollar that they are putting failsafes into their system now.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,775
#49
Good! Hopefully the hackers can create their own online servers and play online cheating and hacking together lol
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,116
#50
Why in the world would you go online with a console you've hacked? This isn't any different than J-Tagged Xboxes. You could go online with a hacked Wii or Dolphin because Nintendo didn't give a shit about the Wii online service. Now that they're gonna be charging online, you bet your bottom dollar that they are putting failsafes into their system now.
After all of the shit that happened with the 3DS piracy, I’m not shocked they put a bunch of protections in place this time. Good for them.