'Nintendo' News & Updates: Handheld Console Company Offers 3DS Hackers With $20K Bounty, Learn How To Win The Prize

By Milton Letterman , Updated Dec 10, 2016 07:59 AM EST

Nintendo currently offers cash bounties up to $20,000 for anyone who hacks into the 3DS to report findings on security issues. Said move comes amid growing concerns on vulnerabilities in video game consoles, all of which use the Internet for updates and multiplayer connectivity.

Through a partnership with security firm HackerOne, the program is Nintendo's starting effort to combat vulnerabilities on its consoles. PC Magazine reported that the program seeks to curtail cheating, piracy, and inappropriate content distribution. Starting from $100, Nintendo will reward 3DS hackers who submits details on security issues under the following categories, according to HackerOne:

3DS system vulnerabilities

  • Privilege escalation on ARM11 userland
  • ARM11 kernel takeover
  • ARM9 userland takeover
  • ARM9 kernel takeover

Nintendo-published 3DS applications

  • ARM11 userland takeover

3DS hardware vulnerabilities

  • Low-cost cloning
  • Security key detection via information leaks

Improvements in the userland portion of the 3DS system allows Nintendo to combat non-commercial "homebrew" games, which the console is very popular for. Nintendo clearly sees homebrews as a catalyst of vulnerabilities. Nintendo's crackdown on homebrews stems from the growth of network-based functionalities of the 3DS. The program also aims to protect Nintendo's growing number of 3DS users, many of which play the likes of Pokémon, Super Mario, and The Legend of Zelda, among many others.

HackerOne emphasized that Nintendo only seeks for vulnerability information relating to systems pertinent to the 3DS, henceforth excluding "vulnerability information regarding other Nintendo platforms, network service, or server-related information."

The program's incentive-driven strategy would certainly draw hackers into looking for security issues on the 3DS. Nonetheless, Nintendo has yet to reveal any further details on how it will calculate its payout for every vulnerability reported.

Anyone who's interested to take part in Nintendo's latest challenge may submit their reports to Nintendo via HackerOne here. Nintendo advises that no third party shall hold any information on any submitted information on vulnerabilities.

Watch this commentary on Nintendo's 3DS hacking bounty from Machinima below:

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