Feeds

Nintendo Wii hack opens door to homebrew games

Jeux sans frontier

High performance access to file storage

Security researchers have hacked into a Nintendo Wii game console to run their own code in a move that makes it far easier to develop homebrew games for the popular gaming device.

Up to now developers have only been able to write homebrew games for the Gamecube, not the Wii. That meant these homebrew games could be run on a Wii console (because of backward compatibility) but failed to provide Wii hardware support (so no use of the motion-sensitive Wii remote control) and only limited access to system resources.

During a presentation at the 24th Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin last week, hackers Michael Steil and Felix Domke demonstrated their own code running on the console and making use of its system resources. The duo were able to pull off the hack after they extracted the keys for signing Wii code, a feat that would not have been possible if Nintendo had used an encrypted drive.

The brief demo took place at the end of a longer presentation on Deconstructing Xbox 360 Security during the annual hacker conference. Most of the presentation talked about the security architecture of the XBox 360 and the possibility of running Linux on the device but it was the Wii hack that really caught the attention.

The hack advances the possibility of running homebrew code with access to full system resources on the device, not just programs that Nintendo has sanctioned. Such games might be developed to run from a DVD drive, at least in theory. No such games are available as yet and Nintendo may respond by attempting to revoke compromised encryption keys. However history shows such countermeasures are likely to ultimately prove futile. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.