Nintendo Switch Vulnerable to Hacking Through Outdated Version of Apple's WebKit Browser Engine

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iOS hacker qwertyoruiop has discovered that an old iOS 9.3 WebKit vulnerability lies hidden within Nintendo's latest home console/portable hybrid, the Nintendo Switch (via SlashGear). The exploit lies in the Switch's limited web browser functionality, which allows users to sync up with Twitter and Facebook as well as connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots, and is all run by Apple's open source browser engine WebKit.

The Switch's version of WebKit is older than the one currently running on up-to-date iOS and macOS devices, however, allowing Nintendo's device to become vulnerable to a collection of critical exploits that plagued iOS 9.3 last summer. One, named "Pegasus," was a highly sophisticated exploit that installed itself within an iOS device through a link sent via a text message. Apple eventually addressed and fixed these issues with iOS 9.3.5.

webkit switch

For unknown reasons, Nintendo opted to include a version of WebKit that doesn't have these fixes, allowing qwertyoruiop to use an existing iOS WebKit jailbreak, remove any iOS-specific code, and tweak it so it runs on the Switch. The existence of a known exploit running on Switch points towards a rushed release, which was already believed to be the case since the company's fiscal year ends March 31, 2017 and the Switch launched March 3.

Developer LiveOverflow yesterday published a proof of concept video on the Switch WebKit exploit, further detailing how the bug originating on Apple's devices can be used to hack a Nintendo Switch.


The userland exploit "doesn’t mean much for the end user," according to Wololo, because it hasn't revealed any detailed information on the Switch yet, nor does it hand over full kernel access to hackers. As the news slowly makes the rounds online, it's most likely that Nintendo will add in a patch to the old WebKit exploit in a future update to the Switch.

Top Rated Comments

chriscrk Avatar
49 months ago
Breath of the Wild is the best game in the world.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macTW Avatar
49 months ago
Nintendo can't do anything right. If it didn't have copyrights on popular characters, it'd have gone out of business a decade ago.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
49 months ago

Breath of the Wild is the best game in the world.

It really is spectacular, isn't it? I love it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thisisnotmyname Avatar
49 months ago
Jailbreakers will be happy. Guess this means pirated games are inbound then too.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paulryp Avatar
49 months ago
who cares. Someones needs to go to a lot of effect to steal my Zelda save file. Non issue how about some news about iMacs
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tubamajuba Avatar
49 months ago

not really. played it for half a day and then gave up. lots of "goto point A to pick up point B and return for your reward" type of deal.

only for zelda fans i guess.

I'm really not a huge Zelda fan and this is already one of the best games I've ever played.

The joy in the game isn't actually found in the quests. Indeed, many of the quests are pretty standard fare. It's the world itself that is beyond amazing. The more time you spend exploring the environments around you, the more fun you'll have.

Of course, it may still not be your cup of tea, but it seems like getting off the beaten path might help you enjoy the game a bit more.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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