Feeds

Nintendo Wii hack opens door to homebrew games

Jeux sans frontier

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.