If you happen to be a hacker in the possession of a Nintendo Switch, hears some very good news: Nintendo is offering up a whole lotta money to any security-savvy Switch owners who can find vulnerabilities in the company’s latest console. Finding and submitting a report on a major security problem could earn you up to $20,000.
Nintendo expanded its public security bug hunt yesterday, with the offer of monetary compensation for anyone who finds and submits a report on any new vulnerabilities in the new system. Depending on the severity of the bug, how easy it is to exploit, and the quality of the report itself, bug hunters could earn anywhere between $100 and $20,000.
Nintendo already offers rewards for vulnerability reports on the Nintendo 3DS and New 3DS through the bug-hunting website HackerOne. Nintendo first started this bug bounty program back in December 2016 and has already paid out rewards to three individuals, though its unknown how much these bug hunters were actually paid for their work.
Through this bug hunting program, Nintendo is hoping to prevent such issues as piracy and cheating, such as game and save data manipulation. The specific vulnerabilities they’re looking for on the Switch include “privilege escalation from userland,” “kernel takeover,” and “ARM TrustZone takeover,” as well as userland takeover for games on the Switch. If you understand what any of that means, then you’re qualified enough to get in on these bug-hunting rewards.
Remember, the higher the quality of the report, the higher the chances of a larger reward. By “higher quality,” Nintendo means they are looking for proof of the bug in reports, such as a functional exploit code. If bug hunters don’t have any proof when they first report a bug, they still have three week after the initial report to send their proof of concept. After that, Nintendo will send the reward after they’ve fixed the bug or within four months of receiving the reward, whichever comes first.
Also, only the first report on a new bug will receive the reward, so all you Switch-owning hackers better start cracking!