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  • Nintendo Will Pay You to Hack the Switch
Technology Articles > Entertainment > Gaming Consoles > Nintendo Will Pay You to Hack the Switch

Got hacking skills? If you’re great at detecting security flaws, it’s time for you to purchase a Nintendo Switch. Nintendo is offering anywhere from $100 to $20,000 to hackers that can find major security problems with the Switch console. The company is looking for specific types of security issues (below) but will take almost any bug report.

Nintendo joins a long line of companies using the skills that hackers already possess to hunt down and stop security problems before they begin. Cleverly, instead of punishing hackers that may expose flaws, Nintendo will pay those will hacking skills to find issues before they spin out of control. Does this sound like you? Here’s what Nintendo is looking for.

Security Specifics

While the company will likely be happy with any bug reporting, Nintendo wants to find the following flaws specifically.

Kernel takeover
ARM TrustZone takeover
Userland takeover
Privilege escalation from userland

The company has noted that hackers identifying any (or all) of these problems will be paid as soon as the bug has been fixed, or within three months of reporting the bug (whichever comes first). The amount that Nintendo will pay out depends on whether or not bugs are sought after (as in the ones above) and what kind of report you hand in.

The more detailed a report is, the more likely Nintendo will be to fork over more than $100. If this sounds too good to be true, consider the fact that Nintendo has already paid hackers for the same kind of work.

Nintendo’s HackerOne Website

A few years ago, Nintendo created the HackerOne website, which was set up for hackers to expose security flaws with Nintendo products. The website is simple to use (a submit button lets you submit a flaw quickly) and includes a leaderboard for those hackers that have already found some important security issues.

The site notes that the minimum payout is $100. So even if you find a small bug and report it, you could have a payment in your bank account by Nintendo just for finding a security issue. Keep in mind that the bigger the issues, the more money you will get paid. HackerOne is a win-win for both Nintendo console fans and the company itself.

Companies that Pay Hackers

In the past, Google has notoriously hired hackers that have found security flaws with the company’s products. Nintendo is another company that pays hackers to find flaws, though Nintendo doesn’t bring hackers on board permanently like Google does (to the best of my knowledge, but hackers tend to be private people too).

Other companies that hire hackers or pay hackers to find flaws include Pinterest, DropBox, Tesla, Jet.com, Nintendo, Google, and many others. Why? It makes a lot more sense to pay people that already have hacking skills (and look for security flaws) than hire hackers permanently. If you like to find issues with consoles, get a Switch and give it a shot. Chances are you’ll make a few bucks if you find something that hasn’t been discovered yet.