The Switch hacking community has been making some serious progress over the past few weeks. Various groups have stepped forward recently, showing off their different projects. The latest major update comes from hacker team ‘Fail0verflow’, who posted a picture on Twitter showing that they’ve successfully managed to inject the open-source operating system Linux into the Switch.
— fail0verflow (@fail0verflow) February 6, 2018
The interesting thing about this hack is that it looks like the code is being loaded onto the system via the right Joy-Con terminal. This shows in a very crude way how data transfers from the console to the controllers when they’re attached. If you were unaware that this actually happens, keep in mind that there have been firmware updates specifically for the Joy-Cons which can only be sent to the controllers when they’re attached to the Switch. Still, it’s rather impressive that hackers have found a way to use the data terminals to inject code into the Switch itself. Not only does this prove how clever hackers can be, it also goes to show that the Joy-Con may have a lot more tech than what meets the eye.
Now, the real question is what will come of this discovery? With Linux being a highly-customizable OS, this could lead to the hackers getting the Switch to do a lot of things that it was never intended for. This could possibly even open the door for Android to be brought over, since Android actually uses Linux as a foundation. You may remember that the PS3 originally shipped with the ability for Linux to be installed on to it natively. Sony later removed this functionality when it found this to be a security risk.
Whatever Fail0verflow and the other hacking groups decide to do, I only hope they keep their findings to themselves. It would not be good at all if these exploits were released to the public, potentially opening the door for software piracy.