Nintendo Switch OS kernel hacked

Hackers will soon be able to jailbreak the Nintendo Switch, likely leading to homebrew modding and emulation.

56 seconds read time

Hackers have accessed the Nintendo Switch's OS kernel and will soon be able to jailbreak the system.

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Nintendo's new Switch handheld-console hybrid has taken the world by storm with its transforming dual form factor: the Switch can play games both on-the-go as a handheld as well as at home as a console. The Switch has been a prime target for hackers for many of the same reasons--being able to load up ROMS of classic games and emulators and unlock hidden features of the device essentially makes the Switch into a veritable treasure trove of potential.

Now hackers are apparently one step closer to cracking the console and opening the doors to homebrew emulation on the device. Hacker and exploit-finder Derrekr6 claims that hackers now have access to the Switch's kernel. The Switch runs on a customized operating system based on the FreeBSD kernel, similar to the PS4, and shares elements of Android to boot. With access to the Switch's kernel, hackers can manipulate the console in key ways. The kernel acts as a middleman between applications and hardware, and manages communication between software and hardware.

Nintendo will likely attempt to patch the Switch in the coming weeks, but for now hackers will likely roll out exploits across the web allowing Switch users to transform their console into a portable arcade machine.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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