Nintendo is looking to reward hackers who can exploit holes in its 3Ds system

By @ULB1N on
Nintendo Logo
Nintendo signage is displayed at the company's booth at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, in Los Angeles, California June 11, 2014. Reuters/Kevork Djansezian

Nintendo is offering monetary rewards to hackers who can exploit holes in its 3DS systems. A successful attempt can earn hopefuls as much as US$20,000 (AU$26,800).

HackerOne said in its announcement that while Nintendo intends to provide a secure environment for its customers across all platforms, the gaming giant wants to concentrate solely on the Nintendo 3DS systems for the reward program. The vulnerability challenge will not include its other consoles or services. Nintendo offers a minimum bounty of US$100 (AU$134).

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The announcement listed the types of activities that Nintendo intends to thwart which include piracy, cheating and distribution of inappropriate content to children. Examples of the 3DS vulnerability information it hopes to collect include system, published application and hardware vulnerabilities.

This kind of practice has now become a norm in the tech industry. Big companies now offer rewards to specialists who can find vulnerabilities in their systems early on rather than face more severe future headaches. According to Cobalt.io, the first bug bounty was initiated by Netscape back in 1995 when they offered money to those who could find glitches on the Netscape Navigator 2.0 Beta.

HackerOne itself has a long list of big name clients that include Starbucks, Kaspersky Lab, Yelp, Open-Xchange, OLX, Uber, Imgur, Dropbox, Snapchat, Ubiquiti Networks, Adobe, Vimeo, Twitter, Urban Dictionary, Yahoo and even Pornhub.

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Nintendo shall reward the first reporter of qualifying vulnerability information. The company will be the one to decide whether the information deserves a reward or how much a reward will be. Nintendo will not unveil how it would calculate the bounty money and it also won’t make any reward amount it allocates public.

“The reward amount depends on the importance of the information and the quality of the report,” the program policy stated. “In general, the importance of the information is higher if the vulnerability is severe, easy-to-exploit, etc.”