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Bushing has 'cracked' the Wii

LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Games and Technology
bushing, one of the more prominent members of the Wii homebrew development scene has, aparently worked out a way of booting burnt (ie pirated) games on an unmodified Wii console.

This is from his blog:
Dear Nintendo,

As part of our efforts to understand how the Wii works, we believe we have found a security issue that could allow pirated Wii games to be played on an unmodified Wii console.

I would like to speak to an engineer about this — please have one contact me at bushing (at) gmail.com.

Sincerely,
bushing

P.S. Sorry for posting this publicly — I tried emailing you three times and never received a response. I am trying to follow the model set forth in http://www.wiretrip.net/rfp/policy.html, so your timely response would be appreciated.

He has, historically had a very tongs anti-piracy stance, and this is typical of him.

Now, the impact that this development has for us is could go several ways. I believe that he has no intention of releasing this technique to the public, all he wants to do on the Wii is homebrew coding, however, he is now in a position to negotiate with Nintendo.

From his previous posts, I think what he would want is the end of the firmware wars with Nintendo, and avoid the situation that the PSP is in now.

Nintendo could respond several ways. Most likely I think they will ignore him, and he might end up releasing his code, but potentially, this could result in maybe even something like official support for the homebrew channel, or at the very least, Nintendo could stop attempting to close the Twilight Hack.

Interesting times.

LewieP on
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Posts

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Note to self - Buy another Wii now, before they try to patch out all homebrew in the new models.

    PeregrineFalcon on
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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Nintendo will probably crack the fuck down to whatever extent they possibly can. That's my predicted corporate response, anyway.

    Then again, they didn't really fuck with DS stuff after their first ultimately unsucessful attempt.

    Daedalus on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    Nintendo could respond several ways. Most likely I think they will ignore him, and he might end up releasing his code, but potentially, this could result in maybe even something like official support for the homebrew channel, or at the very least, Nintendo could stop attempting to close the Twilight Hack.

    Interesting times.

    It's nice to want things.

    Willeth on
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  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Yeah, the optimist in me wants to think it's possible, but it probably isn't.

    Edit: That Nintendo would ever be open minded towards that kind of negotiation.

    Edit2: Also, Nintendo deserves this for their atrocious E3 showing
    /bitter

    LewieP on
  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Nintendo will probably crack the fuck down to whatever extent they possibly can. That's my predicted corporate response, anyway.

    Then again, they didn't really fuck with DS stuff after their first ultimately unsucessful attempt.

    Yeah that would be my guess as well. Usual company solution that I've seen is that attacking the guy that discovered it will make the problem go away.

    subedii on
  • An AngelAn Angel __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008
    Nintendo won't give in to criminal threats.

    An Angel on
  • El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Well, I'm admittedly no expert on this, but it seems that Bushing should tread lightly here. I commend him for going to Nintendo first, but in the end he's in a vulnerable position.

    First, Nintendo doesn't have to support homebrew if they don't want, and if they want a protracted war against rogue (aka unlicensed) developers, that's their choice. Nintendo made a token gesture to give small-time developers tools via WiiWare, and if that isn't good enough, then you really have little to argue about not at least having a legit opportunity to program with the Wii.

    (As an aside, I think it's very cool the Microsoft has actually jumped in with both feet with XNA, giving average Joe programmers a chance to program on the 360. They are actively encouraging it and providing programming tools to do it.)

    If Bushing has discovered a security hole, and he exploits it, he could be in big trouble with Nintendo. If he releases this info into the wild, he better be ready for a huge legal battle. Honestly, I don't see what good will come of this. There are plenty of platforms to program on, and if Nintendo wants to cockblock you then the best way to give them the middle finger is to drop the platform altogether.

    El Guaco on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    That's all well and good, but all Wii sold, with current firmware, would still work with it.

    Hell, I would probably use it, my understanding is that it is most likely using some kind of USB mass storage, like a USB hard drive. That would let me store my games elsewhere, reduce load times, reduce wear and tear on the console and just be more convenient.

    I have a few games ripped from the discs to the hard drive on my Oxbox, and it massively reduces load times on some games, and it means that I don't need to stand up to change games. Lazy ftw.
    An Angel wrote: »
    Nintendo won't give in to criminal threats.

    There is nothing criminal about homebrew. He is not at all saying that he wants to pirate Wii software, and aiding and abetting copyright infringement isn't even close to a crime, and if it was, you would have to throw in every producer of CD burners, Photocopiers, Cameras and Pens.

    He wants to do cool things with his hardware, and share his code with the world for nothing. That is not criminal, it is Freedom of speech.

    LewieP on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    WiiWare devkits only go to actual development companies, not homebrew guys noodling around with the system, and since the libraries aren't GPL-compatable there are any number of interesting things that you can't do with it. Suggesting WiiWare development shows that you don't get it. Of course, that's likely what Nintendo will do as well.

    Daedalus on
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008
    Release the code so we can play legal, imported software, please.

    Sheep on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Sheep wrote: »
    Release the code so we can play legal, imported software, please.

    You can already do that, assuming your legal imported software is on a manufactured disc and not a DVD-R, which, y'know, should be the case. Go over to the Wii Homebrew channel thread. Look for "Gecko Region Free".

    Daedalus on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Sheep wrote: »
    Release the code so we can play legal, imported software, please.

    This.

    Edit: Specifically gamecube imports I mean, I have a bunch of unplayable USA/Japanese gamecube games now.

    LewieP on
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Sheep wrote: »
    Release the code so we can play legal, imported software, please.

    You can already do that, assuming your legal imported software is on a manufactured disc and not a DVD-R, which, y'know, should be the case. Go over to the Wii Homebrew channel thread. Look for "Gecko Region Free".

    Does GRF work on Cube discs as well?

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  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Does GRF work on Cube discs as well?

    Nope, no homebrew way of playing GC imports on a Wii as of yet.

    LewieP on
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Sheep wrote: »
    Release the code so we can play legal, imported software, please.

    You can already do that, assuming your legal imported software is on a manufactured disc and not a DVD-R, which, y'know, should be the case. Go over to the Wii Homebrew channel thread. Look for "Gecko Region Free".

    That doesn't require the TP hack?

    Sheep on
  • El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    WiiWare devkits only go to actual development companies, not homebrew guys noodling around with the system, and since the libraries aren't GPL-compatable there are any number of interesting things that you can't do with it. Suggesting WiiWare development shows that you don't get it. Of course, that's likely what Nintendo will do as well.

    Maybe I don't. But if you're not willing to work with Nintendo under their rules, why have this discussion at all? Is Bushing hoping to get cooperation from Nintendo? Really?

    El Guaco on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Sheep wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Sheep wrote: »
    Release the code so we can play legal, imported software, please.

    You can already do that, assuming your legal imported software is on a manufactured disc and not a DVD-R, which, y'know, should be the case. Go over to the Wii Homebrew channel thread. Look for "Gecko Region Free".

    That doesn't require the TP hack?

    You use the TP hack once to install the Homebrew Channel.
    El Guaco wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    WiiWare devkits only go to actual development companies, not homebrew guys noodling around with the system, and since the libraries aren't GPL-compatable there are any number of interesting things that you can't do with it. Suggesting WiiWare development shows that you don't get it. Of course, that's likely what Nintendo will do as well.

    Maybe I don't. But if you're not willing to work with Nintendo under their rules, why have this discussion at all? Is Bushing hoping to get cooperation from Nintendo? Really?

    It's likely that he wants to use the new abilities from this hack without, you know, helping the fucking pirates. I mean, they're going to figure it out eventually anyway; Bushing isn't Superman, he just got there first.

    Daedalus on
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    El Guaco wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    WiiWare devkits only go to actual development companies, not homebrew guys noodling around with the system, and since the libraries aren't GPL-compatable there are any number of interesting things that you can't do with it. Suggesting WiiWare development shows that you don't get it. Of course, that's likely what Nintendo will do as well.

    Maybe I don't. But if you're not willing to work with Nintendo under their rules, why have this discussion at all? Is Bushing hoping to get cooperation from Nintendo? Really?

    He's not trying to extort anything from them, dumbass. He's trying to keep people from going Warezmonkey on the Wii in order to protect the homebrew crowd.

    Homebrew good.
    Warez bad.

    PeregrineFalcon on
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  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    An Angel wrote: »
    Nintendo won't give in to criminal threats.

    There is nothing criminal about homebrew. He is not at all saying that he wants to pirate Wii software, and aiding and abetting copyright infringement isn't even close to a crime, and if it was, you would have to throw in every producer of CD burners, Photocopiers, Cameras and Pens.

    He was joking about how Nintendo would actually treat this guy i.e. as a criminal.

    Leaving that aside though, under the DMCA it is illegal to circumvent copy protection measures, which is technically what this guy has found out how to do.

    He hasn't used this knowledge, but

    a) if he did he'd be in a world of legal trouble and

    b) Nintendo may be able to legally pressure him to reveal how he has come about this.

    Even despite the fact that he hasn't made use of this knowledge to actually copy anything, the fact remains that he has attempted to and succeeded in (if we are to take his word at it) circumventing copy protection measures on the Wii. Under the DMCA, this in itself may be enough to get him into legal trouble. Crazy I know, but there you go.

    I really can't see Nintendo acquiescing to any demands or requests, he's not in a position to make any, not legally. The only good outcome I can see to this is if Nintendo decide on their own to help this guy out with the homebrew, whilst separately closing the exploit.

    subedii on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2008
    Well, his message says he wants to speak to an engineer. So it appears he isn't one of those idiots that tries to 'bargain' something, because if he wanted to he would have indicated as such in the message or asked for someone in management.

    FyreWulff on
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    An Angel wrote: »
    Nintendo won't give in to criminal threats.

    Seriously, I can't be the only one to read that as a blackmail letter.
    LewieP wrote:
    There is nothing criminal about homebrew. He is not at all saying that he wants to pirate Wii software, and aiding and abetting copyright infringement isn't even close to a crime, and if it was, you would have to throw in every producer of CD burners, Photocopiers, Cameras and Pens.

    He wants to do cool things with his hardware, and share his code with the world for nothing. That is not criminal, it is Freedom of speech.

    Homebrew is all well and good, but the tone of the public post reads, "I have found a way to pirate your software. Please contact me further for details." And you even suggest this yourself:
    LewieP wrote:
    however, he is now in a position to negotiate with Nintendo.

    How can this not be perceived as a threat?

    Lunker on
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  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    An Angel wrote: »
    Nintendo won't give in to criminal threats.

    There is nothing criminal about homebrew. He is not at all saying that he wants to pirate Wii software, and aiding and abetting copyright infringement isn't even close to a crime, and if it was, you would have to throw in every producer of CD burners, Photocopiers, Cameras and Pens.

    hurf durf DMCA

    Protip: The DMCA doesn't mean shit outside of the USA.

    PeregrineFalcon on
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  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008
    subedii wrote: »

    He was joking about how Nintendo would actually treat this guy i.e. as a criminal.

    Joking or not, yes, Nintendo probably would consider him a criminal.

    Remember, they called people who rent games pirates and criminals in the past.

    Sheep on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Really, the whole "idiots who try to bargain something" idea is a little unfair. I assume this is coming from what happened with the Xbox, namely: group looks for way to run Linux, group finds exploit that could be used to pirate games, group asks Microsoft for a way to run Linux without using (and thus revealing) the exploit, Microsoft laughs them out of the room, and group releases Linux on Xbox, using the exploit. I mean, what did they expect?

    Daedalus on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Also, just to dispell a bit of a myth about Wiiware (which on the whole I think is fantastic)

    To apply to be a Wiiware developer you are required to have a separate office. If you work from home you are unable to even apply.

    Once you have applied, you are responsible for translating everything, including all documentation into all the regional languages.

    You are also required to have previously released a game.


    It is still fantastic, but it is definitely not the "all you need is talent and an idea" that it is sometimes made out to be.


    Edit: Yeah, by negotiate, I mean find an alternative method to do the exact same thing minus piracy. I certainly don't mean ask for monies or jobs, that would be blackmail and I would not condone that.

    LewieP on
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Really, the whole "idiots who try to bargain something" idea is a little unfair. I assume this is coming from what happened with the Xbox, namely: group looks for way to run Linux, group finds exploit that could be used to pirate games, group asks Microsoft for a way to run Linux without using (and thus revealing) the exploit, Microsoft laughs them out of the room, and group releases Linux on Xbox, using the exploit. I mean, what did they expect?

    Frankly, I think Nintendo is afraid of homebrew because they know that a couple bored kids with DevKitPro can knock out a better game than the third-party shovelware that gets pressed to disc. :P

    PeregrineFalcon on
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  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    An Angel wrote: »
    Nintendo won't give in to criminal threats.

    There is nothing criminal about homebrew. He is not at all saying that he wants to pirate Wii software, and aiding and abetting copyright infringement isn't even close to a crime, and if it was, you would have to throw in every producer of CD burners, Photocopiers, Cameras and Pens.

    hurf durf DMCA

    Protip: The DMCA doesn't mean shit outside of the USA.

    It's the nearest thing that I could relate to, but doesn't the US have similar clauses in copyright law these days?

    subedii on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Also, all this "negotiate" conjecture is from LewieP's mind, not Bushing's message.

    Daedalus on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Yeah, he has said nothing about negotiating, I guess he could literally just want to tell Nintendo so that they can fix it in a firmware update in case anyone else works it out, but I personally think that unlikely.

    LewieP on
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    An Angel wrote: »
    Nintendo won't give in to criminal threats.

    There is nothing criminal about homebrew. He is not at all saying that he wants to pirate Wii software, and aiding and abetting copyright infringement isn't even close to a crime, and if it was, you would have to throw in every producer of CD burners, Photocopiers, Cameras and Pens.

    hurf durf DMCA

    Protip: The DMCA doesn't mean shit outside of the USA.

    It's the nearest thing that I could relate to, but doesn't the US have similar clauses in copyright law these days?

    I assumed you mean the UK rather than the US, since we already established that the DMCA means nothing. But not every country has the same laws; see "ThePirateBay" for an example.

    PeregrineFalcon on
    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    Yeah, he has said nothing about negotiating, I guess he could literally just want to tell Nintendo so that they can fix it in a firmware update in case anyone else works it out, but I personally think that unlikely.

    Really, that doesn't seem too unlikely to me. He'd rather tell someone privately than plaster it all over the Internet.

    Daedalus on
  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    Yeah, he has said nothing about negotiating, I guess he could literally just want to tell Nintendo so that they can fix it in a firmware update in case anyone else works it out, but I personally think that unlikely.

    I'm not really sure how much of a position he's actually in to negotiate in the first place.

    Even if he did make requests, Nintendo would just ignore them. Looking at it from their perspective I can't see them as likely to dictate their future business models around "what one dude on the internet found".

    subedii on
  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    An Angel wrote: »
    Nintendo won't give in to criminal threats.

    There is nothing criminal about homebrew. He is not at all saying that he wants to pirate Wii software, and aiding and abetting copyright infringement isn't even close to a crime, and if it was, you would have to throw in every producer of CD burners, Photocopiers, Cameras and Pens.

    hurf durf DMCA

    Protip: The DMCA doesn't mean shit outside of the USA.

    It's the nearest thing that I could relate to, but doesn't the US have similar clauses in copyright law these days?

    I assumed you mean the UK rather than the US, since we already established that the DMCA means nothing. But not every country has the same laws; see "ThePirateBay" for an example.

    No I meant the US. I was at least under the impression that similar clauses were present in US copyright law or if not, then currently under consideration.

    subedii on
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    Yeah, he has said nothing about negotiating, I guess he could literally just want to tell Nintendo so that they can fix it in a firmware update in case anyone else works it out, but I personally think that unlikely.

    I'm not really sure how much of a position he's actually in to negotiate in the first place.

    Even if he did make requests, Nintendo would just ignore them. Looking at it from their perspective I can't see them as likely to dictate their future business models around "what one dude on the internet found".

    Uh, this "one dude on the internet" found a security hole that could turn them into the next Dreamcast.

    They started with a foot in the grave being up against the PS2's Supercomputer-Powered Missile-Launching Hype Machine, but when people found out you could pirate games with no modchip, that was the death of them.

    PeregrineFalcon on
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  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    Yeah, he has said nothing about negotiating, I guess he could literally just want to tell Nintendo so that they can fix it in a firmware update in case anyone else works it out, but I personally think that unlikely.

    I'm not really sure how much of a position he's actually in to negotiate in the first place.

    Even if he did make requests, Nintendo would just ignore them. Looking at it from their perspective I can't see them as likely to dictate their future business models around "what one dude on the internet found".

    If they don't, he can very easily make a large proportion of the Wii audience stop paying for software. Undermining how important that is would be a real mistake on Nintendo's behalf.

    LewieP on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    Yeah, he has said nothing about negotiating, I guess he could literally just want to tell Nintendo so that they can fix it in a firmware update in case anyone else works it out, but I personally think that unlikely.

    I'm not really sure how much of a position he's actually in to negotiate in the first place.

    Even if he did make requests, Nintendo would just ignore them. Looking at it from their perspective I can't see them as likely to dictate their future business models around "what one dude on the internet found".

    Uh, this "one dude on the internet" found a security hole that could turn them into the next Dreamcast.

    They started with a foot in the grave being up against the PS2's Supercomputer-Powered Missile-Launching Hype Machine, but when people found out you could pirate games with no modchip, that was the death of them.
    Not really, no. The Dreamcast always had strong software sales relative to their install base. If piracy was a company-destroying problem they would have had terrible software sales relative to their install base. Their problem was that they never sold enough Dreamcasts in the first damn place. Also they were already pretty much bankrupt from their previous string of fuckups.

    Daedalus on
  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    Yeah, he has said nothing about negotiating, I guess he could literally just want to tell Nintendo so that they can fix it in a firmware update in case anyone else works it out, but I personally think that unlikely.

    I'm not really sure how much of a position he's actually in to negotiate in the first place.

    Even if he did make requests, Nintendo would just ignore them. Looking at it from their perspective I can't see them as likely to dictate their future business models around "what one dude on the internet found".

    Uh, this "one dude on the internet" found a security hole that could turn them into the next Dreamcast.

    I'm not saying they'd be right to think that, I'm just saying I believe that's probably the way they'll go. This also has to take into account that he's not actually likely to release the exploit into the open himself ,or at least that's the impression I got from his posts.

    subedii on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    also, again, somebody else will find this eventually. Bushing isn't omniscient.

    Daedalus on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2008
    If they had such a high software tie in, the Dreamcast would have at least broken even.

    As it stands, every single person, and I mean EVERY SINGLE person that sang the praises of the Dreamcast to me online or offline always had a fucking stack of 80 CD-Rs of DC games, or would talk to me about how they were having someone burn a ton of games for them. All the fans loved the system but were too cheap to support it.

    FyreWulff on
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Not really, no. The Dreamcast always had strong software sales relative to their install base. If piracy was a company-destroying problem they would have had terrible software sales relative to their install base. Their problem was that they never sold enough Dreamcasts in the first damn place. Also they were already pretty much bankrupt from their previous string of fuckups.

    The chip-free exploit didn't show up until later on in the DC's life, so it's hard to nail down the exact failure.

    I do still love it though; it's cuddled up to my Wii as the two white systems on the entertainment shelf. :)

    PeregrineFalcon on
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