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Hackers hijack Nintendo Switch, show Linux loaded on console

TechNews

Enlarge (credit: fail0verflow / Twitter)

Last month, we reported on hackers' accelerating efforts to get full control of the Nintendo Switch, allowing the popular system to run homebrew code and, potentially, pirated games. This week, the hacking team fail0verflow claimed a major advance in that effort, tweeting a picture showing Linux booting up on the machine.

While fail0verflow's photo wouldn't be that difficult to fake, the group has released several significant hacks for systems ranging from the Wii to the PS4 in the past, lending credence to their Switch hacking claims. Fail0verflow previously tweeted video of a homebrew "scroller" animation running on the Switch, and the group claimed its code exploit worked in a way that "can't be patched (in currently released Switches)."

Despite the public tease, it might be a while before fail0verflow releases details and code for its Switch exploit to the public. While fail0verflow demonstrated a Linux port for the PS4 in 2016, the team didn't reveal the PS4 exploit it used to run that code until over a year later, by which point the exploit had been patched out of more modern PS4 firmware. And the presence of some external hardware, wires, and ribbon cables in fail0verflow's photo suggest the Switch exploit might not even be possible on unmodified hardware just yet.

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