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Someone hacked the Nintendo Switch using an old iPhone exploit

Published Mar 13th, 2017 5:49PM EDT
Nintendo Switch hack
Image: qwertyoruiopz

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Over the weekend, well-known iOS and PS4 hacker qwertyoruiop reportedly became the first person to hack a Nintendo Switch — just nine days after it launched. According to a post on, the hacker tweaked an old iOS WebKit exploit, removed the iOS-specific code and took advantage of a vulnerability contained within the hidden Switch browser to show just how easy it will be to hack the console.

Considering the reputation of the hacker, no one doubted that the exploit was legitimate, but on Sunday, LiveOverflow provided further proof that it was real with a video demonstrating the exploit in action. You can watch entire video below for a detailed explanation of the exploit, or skip to 16:19 for the demo:

As if we needed any more proof that the Switch probably could have used a few more months of development. Allowing a console to ship with an ancient vulnerability is obviously a problem, but considering that the online service for the Switch won’t even be finalized until the fall, it isn’t all that surprising.

As both qwerty and LiveOverflow explain, this is just a proof of concept for now. No one is going to be playing emulators or pirated games on their Switch consoles quite yet, but hackers now have the ability to begin making strides in that direction. As popular as the Wii U and 3DS were for the hacking community, the Switch — mashing up portability with the power of a home console — is a prime target.

That said, now that the hack is public, Nintendo will likely release a firmware update for the Switch in the coming days. That won’t stop hackers altogether, but it might impede their progress somewhat.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.