Nintendo Will Pay You Up To $20000 To Hack The 3DS – Forbes

Way back in 1996, Netscape introduced what’s considered the first bug bounty program, a system that rewards researchers for discovering vulnerabilities in software or hardware. Today, these programs are commonplace, and not just with companies like Google and Facebook. Fiat-Chrysler has one, and now video game giant Nintendo does, too.

Image: Nintendo

Image: Nintendo

The particulars of the program were posted this week by HackerOne, a Bay Area company the specializes in managing vulnerability disclosures. They’ve partnered with numerous tech companies to set up bug bounty programs: Twitter, Yahoo!, Adobe, LinkedIn, and Slack are just a few.

Nintendo’s goal is “to find and address vulnerabilities on the Nintendo 3DS handheld system that could jeopardize that environment.” They’re looking for a wide variety of hacks, everything from the ARM v9 and v11 processors Nintendo utilizes in the 3DS and 3DS XL to weaknesses in Nintendo’s software.

Payouts for bugs range from as little as $100 to a whopping $20,000 for those Nintendo deems critical.

The overall goal of the program, the company says, is “creating a better game-play experience.” Nintendo does have a list containing a few specific things that they feel will lead to that improved experience. One is preventing the distribution of inappropriate material to kids. The others include stamping out 3DS modding and cheats.

That doesn’t come as a surprise. Like most companies that offer an app store as a companion to a piece of hardware they sell, Nintendo wants 3DS users to make purchases in their store. Revenue is top concern, but Nintendo also wants to ensure that its customers aren’t easy targets for cybercriminals.

The 3DS does, after all, have built-in WiFi connectivity, and as we’ve seen on numerous occasions this year hackers will try to take over anything that’s connected to the Internet. Nintendo execs certainly don’t want to wake up to read that there’s a 3DS botnet out there being used to launch massive DDoS attacks.


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