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HackerOne - Scene Drama on the 3DS

Posted in rants

Oh hi. It’s me again. Time to talk some scene drama I guess.

HackerOne is a “bug bounty platform”. Quite simply put, if you are a security researcher, you can help point out system software faults, and in exchange, the company that made the system will pay you for your work. There are many companies that use HackerOne, such as the TOR network, Spotify, Homebrew (package manager for macOS) and Wordpress. And wouldn’t you guess. Nintendo has a HackerOne page too! So let’s talk about that for a second.

The HackerOne part of Nintendo’s ongoing onslaught of stopping all traces of Homebrew from their 3DS came sort of out of nowhere. Most people (including me) dismissed it, as the project blocked any public exploits from being submitted (a sensible choice on Nintendo’s part, otherwise I could just submit b9s and rake in the money), and the fact that many of the people that have the “mad skillz” needed to find and write exploits were not interested in working with Nintendo.

So, when there suddenly erupted drama on the HackerOne part, you could for certainly color me suprised. To surmise, homebrew developer ihaveamac posted this ^ on GBATemp, accusing PokeAcer of selling his browser exploit to Nintendo, with backed up proof of said behavior. In response, PokeAcer made this post ^ in which he basically didn’t deny the claims and apologized for them, saying that he donated 500$ of said amount (which was undisclosed at the time) to the EFF. I was one of the people that commented on that post, and I have a copy of said response below for the sake of posterity.

I think this oughta stay between you and ihaveamac. What you did wasn't good and you shouldn't have done it, but quite honestly... eh.

You caused drama again, but quite honestly, if we have one week without drama I think I'll have a heart attack.

I'm not involved or anything, but my thoughts are:

A. What's done is done. You cannot reverse this, so learn to live with it.

B. If you feel bad about owning the money (and I do feel that if you have some sense of self-worth, you should), donate it to some good cause. UNICEF is a non-profit UN organization that helps kids who desperately need medical aid/basic human rights. I'd say that those kids deserve that money more than you do. At least something positive will then come from the hackerone money instead of a larger number on your bank account.

As you can see, my response was fairly open, with me willing to forgive PokeAcer for said behavior. Of course, as it is much more interesting than my response, ihaveamac responded forgiving as well, causing the drama to remain mostly internalized, and with the homebrew community not really giving a shit and moving on (what a suprise).

Move on to today/yesterday (happened last night while I was asleep), and PokeAcer is brought up again. Astronautlevel (the person that runs the Luma3DS nightlies and managed to figure out some nasty shit about UnbanMii 2.0) revealed that PokeAcer had dun it again by selling off another exploit and publicly leaking another. This one is a bit more disgusting, as he even took to impersonating someone else while doing this (nevermind that Impersonation is a crime). You can read the entire post here ^

My personal thoughts on this debacle happening again?

Just… wow. I personally am severly angered. In case you don’t really know me, I am a fairly forgiving person, I believe in giving people second chances (as long as it isn’t anything extremely severe). But misuse my willingness to forgive in order to then pull that same shit again? And this time even gloating about the cash you made from it to buy a fucking MacBook? The saying goeth: “Hell hath no fury like an evi scorned” (or something to those lines). So, I personally don’t think PokeAcer should ever have anything to do with the 3DS scene again or really any homebrew scene for that matter. I do not believe he deserves anything else (so don’t harass him or anything like that), but I do not wish for this guy to ever work in any capacity on anything Homebrew related again.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I understand you probably (and would likely) want to see me go back and review good games I enjoy playing, but I had to get this off of my chest. If you have any questions about my stance, my email is linked down below. With that said, See you guys later.

17 years old, Gamer, Programmer, Blogger, Shitposter, Homestuck. Potential hypocrite.

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