'Holy Grail' Exploit Puts Nintendo Switch Consoles at Risk

EctNews Network, April 25, 2018, with comments by Willy Leichter

Researchers announced last week a security flaw in Nintendo consoles, specifically the Nvidia Tegra X-1 mobile processor. Named “Fusée Gelée,” the vulnerability was discovered by Katherine Temkin and team at ReSwitched. All devices with the chip are affected, including Nintendo Switch and some Chromebooks.

The processors can be attacked by someone running code that executes a buffer overload when the system reboots. The attack can only happen when the hacker is in the presence of the device, meaning users can hack into their own devices if they know how, enabling them to cheat on games. This can damage their consoles and if caught cheating, they can be banned from online gaming.

The flaw is patchable before devices are shipped from the factory but once shipped, they are unfixable and permanently vulnerable.

Fusée Gelée should alert chip makers to the need for better communication between the hardware and software sides of their business, observed Willy Leichter, vice president of marketing for Virsec.

"The silos between chip designers and software developers continue to leave big potential openings for increasingly resourceful hackers," he told TechNewsWorld

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