Nintendo Will Give You $20,000 If You Hack The Switch

Time to collect some IRL coins

Photo Illustration: Vocativ
Apr 13, 2017 at 3:54 PM ET

Nintendo’s Switch has been out in the market for about a month now, and while gamers are going around killing bad guys in “The Legend of Zelda,” the company is trying to kill bugs in the system.

Nintendo partnered with HackerOne, a bug bounty platform, to give hackers the chance to find exploits and vulnerabilities in the gaming console and report them for cash prices. Those who find a bug in the system can win anywhere between $100 and $20,000, depending on how serious the vulnerability is.

“The reward amount depends on the importance of the information and the quality of the report,” states Nintendo’s policy. “A report is evaluated to be high quality if you show that the vulnerability is exploitable by providing a proof of concept.”

Nintendo hopes this program helps thwart bugs leading to hacking, cheating, and propagation of improper content to children. The company also hopes to gather more information on system and hardware vulnerabilities.

So far, there have only been three hackers rewarded for submitting reports. However, all reports all undisclosed so it’s unclear how much money they were awarded or what the vulnerabilities were. Last month, a hacker known for jailbreaking (modifying the software and restrictions of manufacturer to install unauthorized programs) iOS devices and PlayStations, was able to modify the Switch’s code — but it’s unclear if he submitted it to Nintendo for a cash reward.

Bug bounty programs like Nintendo’s are common nowadays. Other big companies that have launched their own include IBM, Facebook, Google and Twitter. This is Nintendo’s second attempt at setting up a bounty program. Last year, it rolled out a Nintendo 3DS program that offered the same terms and monetary prizes.