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Nintendo Implements Anti-Piracy Kill 'Switch', While Switch Piracy Can Brick Console

Posted by: , 17:05 AEST, Sat June 30, 2018

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Nintend and pirates go to battle, while piracy code may contain a nasty surprise
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Image/Photo Credit: Nintendo

A hacker has confirmed that Nintendo's Switch console now has code that can detect piracy and permanently ban your console from connecting online.

The hacker, SciresM, posted his findings on reddit after examining the Switch's code and explained just how Nintendo plans on stopping pirates.

Switch gamecarts are signed with a certificate that could be banned if Nintendo detects you're not using a legitimate copy. Games will connect online to an authentication server to check for the game's legitimacy. Repeated offences could see your console banned from connecting to online services.

Nintendo's drastic anti-piracy actions are in reaction to the jailbreaking of the Switch late last year, which has now allowed homebrew and pirated games to work on the popular console.

The hacking group that discovered the flaw, Team Xecutor, eventually released the SX Pro dongle that allows it to run custom firmware, SX OS to allow all this to happen. Both the device and the software are not free, which is why Team Xecutor may have taken the unusual step to put copy protection features in a software that disables copy protection.

UK-based security researcher Mike Heskin found out the hard way that such a security feature existed, when his Switch console was bricked by the copy protection code. The SX OS's copy protection will lock the Switch with a randomly generated password if it detects someone is trying to hack or reverse engineer the code. 

Heskin believes that even with normal usage of the custom firmware, the lock may engage and brick your console. Team Xecutor has since acknowledged the existence of the bricking code, but denied that it could be triggered by normal usage, while Heskin has confirmed that the bricking process can be reversed.

Heskin has also accused Team Xecutor of plagerising code.

[via The InquirerTorrentFreak]


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