As is the case with most console makers, Nintendo has had to fight piracy and exploits on the Switch. Some have found ways to get around Nintendo’s security, be it running Linux or creating their own Virtual Console. Hackers have claimed that Nintendo can’t patch away some of their troubles. Heeding their words, Nintendo, according to a prominent console hacker, has started selling new Switch hardware that reportedly blocks some one of the system’s biggest exploits.
The word comes by way of console hacker SciresM, who tweeted that “new Switches in the wild not being vuln [sic] to f-g… probably updated ipatches.” The “f-g” part of the tweet is a reference to “Fusée Gelée,” a coldboot exploit that let users boot unsigned code. However, according to the same tweet, these Switches are “coming with 4.1.0 for now, which is vuln [sic] to deja vu.” “Deja vu” is a method that allows the user to install homebrew but has reportedly been patched out after firmware 5.0.0 in March 2018.
SciresM speculates that Nintendo has updated their iPatch systems to burn in protective code to the boot ROM. This would stop users from utilizing the recovery mode overflow error that let hackers in. Since these the new Switch hardware is running 4.1.0 and not 5.0.0, these units are likely not supporting the more secure Mariko chip, as SciresM explains.
Since the firmware on these systems is outdated, it’s possible that these units were made much earlier than when the buzz surrounding the Fusée Gelée exploit exploded in April. Team fail0verflow and Team ReSwitched reportedly provided “responsible disclosure” to Nintendo and Nvidia (makers of the Tegra chip inside the Switch) about the exploit before it went public. Both teams have found similar Switch exploits in the past.
This isn’t the only big step Nintendo has taken to stop exploits. Last month, users found out that individual game carts can be banned in an attempt to stop piracy. Whatever the case, Nintendo has shown that they’re willing to fight exploits and hacks on the Switch.