Bug bounty programs are certainly the current rage among software developers and tech firms alike. The reason is that, through these reward programs, small time hackers and security experts all get a fair chance to polish and test their skills while the creators of the program/device get to know about potential vulnerabilities in their offerings prior to releasing it.

Also Read: 10 Famous Bug Bounty Hunters of All Time

This year, Google and US military signed up for bug bounty programs. Now, the same path has been adopted by Nintendo. Reportedly, the Japan-based gaming console creator Nintendo is offering $20,000 prize money for exploiting the Nintendo 3DS handheld. Nintendo has launched this scheme in collaboration with HackerOne. Those who successfully identify critical flaws can expect to receive the cash prize. However, there are certain conditions; the company will be quite strict in areas like piracy, cheating and sensitive content cannot be accessed by minors.

Furthermore, to participate, the hackers must possess formidable skills in delivering information about any inherent security lapses in the Nintendo 3DS system. The company specifically needs to receive information about vulnerabilities or flaws in ARM9 kernel, ARM11 kernel takeover, Userland takeover and ARM11 userland privilege escalation.

It must be noted that the Nintendo 3DS was released in 2011 and therefore, the system is a bit outdated. Seemingly, the company is expecting to gather information and enhance the security of its latest console Nintendo Switch, which will be released in March 2017.

Vulnerabilities Nintendo wants to know about

System vulnerabilities regarding the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems
Privilege escalation on ARM11 userland
ARM11 kernel takeover
ARM9 userland takeover
ARM9 kernel takeover
Vulnerabilities regarding Nintendo-published applications for the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems
ARM11 userland takeover
Hardware vulnerabilities regarding the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems
Low-cost cloning
Security key detection via information leaks

Also Read: Pornhub Bug Bounty Program: Report critical flaws, earn $25,000

The hacking challenge is a testing ground for identifying potential flaws in order to make Nintendo Switch flawless prior to its release. It does make sense because gaming consoles are pretty sensitive devices that are mainly used by kids and teens. Therefore, identifying and eliminating vulnerabilities beforehand is a step in the right direction.

Uzair Amir

I am an Electronic Engineer, an Android Game Developer and a Tech writer. I am into music, snooker and my life motto is 'Do my best, so that I can't blame myself for anything.'