New Nintendo Switch Hack Technology Targets Retailers

Team-Xecuter hackers have schemed an attachable device that works on updated hardware too. 

Nintendo is taking legal action to prevent many retailers that reportedly sell a Switch modification device that lets users play pirated games on earlier versions of the system. However, the console maker is utilizing those lawsuits too for alerting retailers to refrain from taking pre-orders for an imminent hardware hack planned to work on more recent Switch consoles, including the Switch Lite. 

The lawsuits procured by Polygon after their filing in Ohio and Seattle courts on Friday focus on websites that sell products from hacking collective Team-Xecuter. That group presently develops the SX Pro, an easy USB device that lets users install a conventional “SX OS” operating system on the Switch from a memory card. Not sure, if it is Nintendo switch piracy. With SX OS installed, users can virtually play any pirated game made for the Nintendo Switch, all without a license or paying a penny to Nintendo or any of a large number of authentic game publishers developing games for Nintendo Switch, according to the filings. 

The SX Pro exclusively works with the approximate 20 million Switch consoles launched before June 2018, which were vulnerable to an unpatchable exploit in their Nvidia Tegra CPUs. The 35 million Switch and Switch Lite systems since then flaunt an upgraded chipset that cannot be hacked applying that exploit. 

However, Nintendo mentions in its lawsuits that Team-Xecuter says it is close to the launch of new Switch-hacking devices, dubbed SX Core and SX Lite, which can install SX OS on any Switch console, including those with updated chipsets. A formal switch hack guide isn’t yet available. 

Check out for solder burns 

Dissimilar to the comparatively easier, strictly external hacks for earlier Switch models, Team-Xecuter’s new SX models for Switch hacking appear to have included opening up the console and attaching a small SD card reader directly onto the main motherboard. Team-Xecuter first teased those new models last October before demonstrating a preview of the new device running SX OS on a Switch Lite back in December. The Team then sent these updated SX units to testers and reviewers earlier this month, according to its website. 

In its lawsuits, Nintendo takes a dig at the retailers taking pre-orders for Team-Xecuter’s new offerings and warns of their potential effect on its business. They have realized that the Nintendo switch hack cannot be ignored as a rumor. 

The company claims that on information and belief, defendants have agreed and confirmed hundreds of other preorders for the SX Core and the SX Lite throughout the United States, and plan to deliver the products to buyers once they are available, which is expected shortly. 

The scale of possible harm from Defendants’ trafficking in the SX Core and SX Lite is surprising, threatening the circumvention of the Technological Measures securing above 35 million extra Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite consoles presently in the marketplace apart from the 20 million pre-June 2018 Nintendo Switch consoles. 

Poorly Xecuter-ed? 

Team-Xecuter has a kind of disrepute in the Switch-hacking community. That’s due to its focus on benefitting from what are otherwise generally open-source efforts to recognize and publicize vulnerabilities in console hardware. Team-Xecuter also promotes its devices with a certain focus on decrypting and copying legitimate software, while open-source hackers try to focus on installing homebrew software and custom firmware that doesn’t directly allow piracy. 

Kate Temkin, a member of the ReSwitched Team collective that actually hacked the system, told Ars in 2018 that he strongly disagrees with the concept of hiding software exploits and then launching modchips that use possibly obscured versions of them. According to him, it’s unethical, as it allows malicious actors to pick up and exploit the vulnerabilities before they can be addressed or public knowledge can spread and against the spirit of knowledge exchange all wish to witness within the console-hacking community. 

Apart from the damages of up to $2,500 each sale, Nintendo is seeking court orders to prevent the further sale of all Team-Xeceuter hacking devices from the identified retailers and for the “seizure, impoundment, and destruction of all Circumvention Devices.” 

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