Version 1.5b Castle in the Sky

lecture: Console Hacking

Breaking the 3DS


In 2011 the Nintendo 3DS was released. Today it is the most popular current-gen handheld console, having sold more than 50 million units worldwide. The 3DS features a completely redesigned architecture from its predecessors the DS and the DSi. This talk will focus on the security features of the 3DS, and how we got around them.

We start by presenting a summary of the security system of the 3DS from the ground up. After the introduction, we proceed to elaborately exploit each layer of the 3DS operating system, starting with userspace, kernelspace, and finally gain code-execution in the security processor.

We also present how we figured out a hardware secret built into the console, and an early break in the chain of trust.

Basic knowledge of embedded systems and CPU architectures is recommended, although we aim to also make it enjoyable for non-technical audiences.

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