News Article

Nintendo Issues Statement on Wii U Hacking Attempt

Posted by Lee Meyer

The system appears to be secure

Nintendo has responded to claims by hacking group, Wiikey, that it's hacked the Wii U to play pirated, copied games. While Nintendo does acknowledge that it's aware of the reported hacking, the Wii U appears to still be secure.

Responding to the circulating reports, Nintendo issued a statement to Eurogamer:

Nintendo is aware that a hacking group claims to have compromised Wii U security. However, we have no reports of illegal Wii U games nor unauthorized applications playable on the system while in Wii U mode. Nintendo continuously monitors all threats to its products' security and will use technology and will take the necessary legal steps to prevent the facilitation of piracy.

Wiikey has a long history with Nintendo, having been the first group to create a mod chip for the Wii. While piracy was a significant issue on the Wii, Nintendo's firmware updates have been more effective in preventing hacking on the Wii U and 3DS. At the time of writing Wiikey has claimed a successful hack but not provided evidence, telling its readers to "stay tuned for updates".

It seems that, if Nintendo's checks are accurate, its latest home console is still secure, while it's likely to continue countering hacking threats — as it also has on 3DS — with system updates.


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User Comments (67)



Wheels2050 said:

Phew! Thank goodness those filthy hackers have once again been thwarted by the almighty Nintendo!



AbeVigoda said:

Nintendo has countered the piracy by releasing Wii-U games no one would ever bother copying



Captain_Balko said:

I hope people that pirate games realise that they are preventing profits from reaching the developers. Well, then again, the same goes for buying used games.



Sonic260 said:

So...if Nintendo knows the name of the group that is blatantly selling emulation products that allow for piracy, why haven't they been shut down yet?



Einherjar said:

If you dont go the Sony road, hacking attempts here and there are a good thing. It helps you improve your OS. If your sony, you close one hole and open up two more and, along the road, give up completely (as seen with the PSP) .
But im quite happy that the WiiU OS wasnt breached yet. Look at it that way: The Xbox fell to the simple fact that is uses exchangeable PC components that can be modded externaly. The PS3 fell a couple of times and we all heard about the PSN accident... So, many people say that Nintendo doesnt know what they are doing in regards to their OS and they online service, but at the moment, both seem unbreachable And to the people saying "its because noone is interested". Look at it that way: It would be their moment to completely embarass nintendo.
Now nintendo can counter the futile attempt with even more security, if they know what method was used.
@Sonic260 Emulators themselfes are a greay area when it comes to law. The ROMs are the "problem". If you can make them yourself from games you own, you can play them on any device you can imagine, as long as youre not charged for the emulator itself, since it contains the systems original coding to some degree, and making money with that IS agains the law.



nomeacuerdo said:

hacking = yay
piracy = nay

After all, it would be pretty nice if somebody hacked the Wii U and developed anything that could play video apart from Netflix, Amazon instant video and Hulu.

The bad side of hacking is the piracy stuff, and how that affects the industry. Although, at some point I think how much would it help to make the console lift off if the cheap people were able to download pirated games.



thecorre said:

i can't stand hackers they are no life's do they know that people have family to feed and make profit of their game's they spent time and money on making games for us to enjoy and put smiles on our face.



MadAdam81 said:

I prefer to buy stuff I like, to encourage people to keep making the same sort of stuff that I like - the success of games determines how many new games will be made in the same genre, style and quality. If CoD type games sell the most due to being the least pirated, then many devs will think that's the type of game they need to make.



Shiryu said:

It's a no win scenario that I have seen being repeated all my life (all the way back to the ZX Spectrum and Commodore Amiga), I suspect that sooner or later it will happen.I have no interest in piracy, all my games are original store bought.



Hyperstar96 said:

I love homebrew applications as much as the next guy, but making a mod chip just for piracy can only be bad. At least homebrew has other practical, legal uses. Wii U isn't even half a year old for crying out loud, it shouldn't be subject to such simple piracy!



dragon_rider said:

Note, piracy != theft

Theft is the act of stealing something where said object is lost whereas piracy is the unauthorized copy; nevertheless, piracy is still illegal, but it is not theft.

The digital copy still exists, but illicit copies are being made, that's the difference between piracy and theft. Theft = item is gone, piracy = item is there but being copied.



Shane904 said:

@Sonic260 If I were to guess, the modification is probably software, not a modchip or such.

Edit: Oh, it does appear to be hardware.

@willobee, I don't think he was trying to justify it. Just pointing out something that you may not have noticed or thought of.

@AbeVigoda Thank you for making me spit out my water.



RupeeClock said:

No reports of pirated games they say?
Isn't it possible that the hacking team would just keep their systems off line??
I mean come on, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.



gsnap said:

@dragon_rider Semantics. There's no point in distinguishing between the two. The outcome is the same: the loss of a sale. That's what companies care about.



timp29 said:

Technically if you ever recorded a show off TV without first ringing the TV station and asking for permission, you are a pirate. Piracy is a grey area abounding with hypocritical enforcement of rules. Companies should be grateful that anyone takes it seriously, especially considering HDD, DVD and VHS recorders sell/sold like hotcakes allowing any old person to make illegitimate copies of copyrighted material for personal use.

My understanding was also that as Nintendo used non standard discs, piracy should be extremely difficult, at least with the physical medium.



Shane904 said:

@timp29 You make an interesting point about recording shows. However, from a business point of view, the stations aren't really losing money. Same money from advertisers, etc. No different watching it then compared to the time that it aired.



Shane904 said:

Also, on that point, don't forget that most cable providers have DVR's available.



Tmdean said:

> will take the necessary legal steps to prevent the facilitation of piracy

Uh oh, I'm seeing another prolonged GeoHot-style legal battle in the near future.



ToastyYogurt said:

@Dragon_Rider: I beg to differ. Piracy isn't theft in the traditional manner, but it is theft in another way: piracy is stealing money that the creator would have made otherwise.

I'm sick of people trying to justify piracy. It's illegal for a reason. I can't stop you from doing it (unless all you know is that you're getting stuff you would normally buy for free and are not aware that you are stealing money), but I feel like "I don't care about the industry" is a better reason to pirate than "it's not stealing blah blah blah."



Sekuiya said:

@demonta4 Basically, for it to be legal, you should be the one dumping your bios from an actual console and dumping the rom from an actual cartridge. That way, all would be legal.
Not sure if it applies to the really old stuff. Those probably already lost their copyrights.



GiftedGimp said:

No matter what the system they will always be hacked, its upto the system makers to ensure updates keep the system hack free.
Regular system updates help, also embedding system updates into software, so even if its an illegal copy the system will update.
Also games can require a certain system update to work, as is the case on some Vita game.

Thats whats good about consoles these days, there's no way without having an online only system to stop Hackers, but the system makers can ensure its not easy for the hackers to stay up to date with the latest hard or soft mod needed to play pirated games, and the system makers can make it that it's hardly worth modding your system due to regular updates and the need for the latest mods to counter act the updates.

I don't or ever have supported pirated games, developers don't see much of the profit nade from thier games, yet gamers expect them to spend vast amount of money creating great games & game engines that push the boundaries of what we expect to get.
I hope that Nintendo have a banning system in place for users caught having a modded system, like MS and Sony do, especially now they have the Network ID system in place.



Sekuiya said:

@Gridatttack Yeah, Nintendo and Sega stuff are most likely to be renewed. But what about systems like Commodore and Amiga, just to name some really old stuff?



GiftedGimp said:

@Shane904 Modding your system isn't illegal, but T&C of Xbox live, PSN & Nintendo Network have a condition that the user will not use modified hardware.
So by using a modded system your in breach of the t&c contract on which you agreed upon signing up.



Shane904 said:

I wish the people who pirated didn't get lumped into the same group of people who use homebrew games.

@GiftedGimp This is true. The question I was answering was if it was ok for old systems. I do hope that Nintendo doesn't have a banning system for modded consoles unless they were caught pirating.



Kagamine said:

@Shane904 I could see them banning for hard modded consoles, but I hope they wouldn't ban a soft mod. Hard mods like this I do not agree with. While it is well within their right to modify the console, it is clear they are only doing it to play pirated games (In this instance). Unfortunately a hard mod will most likely come way before a soft mod, once again giving hackers an even worse name.



Gridatttack said:

@Sekuiya I think some games wont be renewed. But some popular ones (like pitfall) maybe will. Look at the compilations games that have some ATARI games. I guess most of those games will get renewed.

The other ones might just be left forgotten.



KnightRider666 said:

Wow, get a life Wiikey...seriously. If you don't pay, it go away; get it? People and groups like this ruin it for everybody else who's honest.



the_shpydar said:

False. There has been a plethora of litigation on that very issue (most notably Sony vs. Universal, back in 1984), and to put it simply, it is considered "time-shifting" and fair use.



theblackdragon said:

hey guys, please stop sharing your anecdotes regarding piracy — we don't care what you've bought or what you've done in the past, just don't talk about it here is all. if we can keep this thread focused on the article at hand, we'd appreciate it. Thank you! :3



SMW said:

The Wind Waker image didn't make any sense to me until a few hours later. I was like 'oh yeah, WW had pirates!' lol



SanderEvers said:

@dragon_rider True, but both are illegal. Actually I think that piracy is more illegal than theft. Since the owner doesn't have to know that their stuff is being copied.

You'll know directly when someone steals from you.



snax007 said:

Im against piracy and always buys my games - no exceptions. But Im all for homebrew and hope this will lead to some great homebrew stuff on Wii U.
Jailbreaking is not against the law in my country, so there before anyone gets started.



snax007 said:

@GiftedGimp True it's in their TOS but a TOS cannot override a Country's laws. All the manufacturers can, is to ban you and/or your hardware from accessing their services. If you live in a country which allows jailbreaking and modding, they cant do a thing. They can make threats etc. though.



Peach64 said:

A little off topic, but I loved the recent story about Game Dev Tycoon. The developers leaked a copy of it onto some pirate websites, but they'd secretly modded that version of the game so the player always failed due to the game they were making (in the game) being pirated and them not making enough money on it.



MundaneName said:

Sick of people claiming that hackers are "filthy", "pirates" and other childish insults.
I do not agree with hacking a system to play pirated games of a current generation. In this case, hacking the system to play older Wii games still seems daft as you can pick up the games so cheaply.
However, the general feeling I get from gaming forums seems to indicate that hacking your system = you being a software pirate, and this is not always the case.

TL;DR hacking =/= thief



fluggy said:

I do feel for good games dev's who put in a real effort to make a quality product. What I can't stand is greedy companies that release half baked, broken and buggy games and slap a £40 price tag on it in a cynical attempt to dupe kids and parents. They know their games are rotten when released and still charge top dollar! .... To me, that's an even bigger crime than piracy!! If its broken .... Stop wasting everyones time and money and Don't release it !!!



JayArr said:

"While Nintendo does acknowledge that it's aware of the reported hacking, the Wii U appears to still be secure."

Haha. Denial and smokrscreens. The system is breached. Goodnight sweet prince.



Mariomast3r said:

So I take it nintendo is aware that virtual Wii Mode has been compromised and doesn't care! Hence the fact that no attempts to block Homebrew in the recent WiiU update... which pretty much means do whatever to the wii don't touch our new os



Cranky said:

Indeed, I believe that Nintendo gave up with the Wii security after the 4.3 update. I remember getting a warning message when updating to 4.3 that told you your console might break if it has been modded. Nice of them



GiftedGimp said:

Given many 3rd Party Devs are claiming lack power and/or lack of hardware sales as false reasons not to develop for WiiU & Given that 3rd parties have a hard time getting thier games to sell on Nintendo Systems anyway. How long do you think it would be for the WiiU to die if it was hacked and people were playing hacked games.. 2 years... tops.

Sega Dreamcast Didn't have massive sales but thats not what killed it or Sega willingness to stay as a console manufacture.. it was the piracy.
Games didn't sell at all on Dreamcast, Most 3rd party developers dropped the system knowing there was no way to make any money and then history shows what happened.
Game piracy is seen by a lot as harmless thing, but given the cost of game development and how little of the money developers see from game sales.. on top of the current financial climate where numerous development houses have been going bust the past few years Game Piracy is far from Harmless.



GiftedGimp said:

@snax007 If you break tos then regardless of laws about hacking/modding they can block hardware and/or services.

MS and Sony actively do this, either severing connection to xbox live/Psn services and even blocking your system from working.

I understand some people like to mod so they can can do things with the system not the norm, and they don't bother with pirated or modded games, but sadly the number of people who want to mod to save cash on pirate games massivley out number those who mod to get more features.



GiftedGimp said:

Ask yourself this..
Would you prefere a console manufacture to block hacked/Modded systems? or Make it so your System has to be always connected online?

A firmware patch is all it takes to make your system that doesn't have to connect online, to have to be connected which then Games can be set to require the system update to work and have the system update embedded into the game code.



KidNo0b said:

Nintendo should just have a Anti-Piracy thing like Earthbound; Make the games completely Uber hard, and delete your save file at the end of the game. ;D



snax007 said:

@GiftedGimp That's pretty much what I said. Hardware manufacturers can't sue you under the TOS, only the local country's laws. If jailbreaking is legal in a country (like mine), MS/Sony can't touch you legally. But they can block you from using their services like PSN/XBL.



Wheels2050 said:

Nobody seems to have brought up the obvious, legitimate use for this - playing backed up games. In many places it's legal to make a backup of copyrighted media for personal use (although often breaking the copy protection IS illegal - go figure) and this would presumably allow for that.

Many people on this site seem to have a very black-and-white view of video game piracy. I don't agree with people simply wanting free games, but I acknowledge that there are a host of reasons why someone might want to play a pirated copy of a game, many of which I consider to be legitimate (although still illegal, I'm not denying that).

It's simply not a cut-and-dry question.



Mariomast3r said:

the main reason I bought the wiiU is to play 1st party titles! I've enjoyed all the nintendo character games for 20+ years and they just keep getting better. once in awhile a 3rd party title comes along that's good but the replay value is hardly ever there!



DarkKirby said:

Here's the thing, when Nintendo pulls their head out of their bootie and makes their consoles and games region free, and gives a crap when massive amounts of people hack and cheat in their online games, I'll sympathize with their woes about piracy and all the "updates" they make to have to stop it.



TheRealThanos said:

@GiftedGimp Wow, I don't know what you were smoking back then (or now) but you are WAY off with your short version retelling of what happened to Sega and why. I've commented on this on hundreds of sites for more times than I care to remember and I always stick to the bare facts, NOT speculation or myth and rumours. In short it was successive acts of mismanagement and refusal to implement the readily available DVD technology that one of their biggest competitors at the time (namely Sony) did, so in a sense competing with Sony killed the Dreamcast, NOT piracy, that is just ridiculous and also has no factual support, or at least not on this planet...
Here's an extensive article on the TRUE story backed up with a 2 part video report made by and with industry veterans with inside knowledge of what actually happened back then:
In it you will find answers to interesting questions such as: if piracy supposedly killed the Dreamcast, then why did it not kill the PS1? (which was being pirated on in a WAY larger scale than the Dreamcast ever was)
Mind you, piracy sucks balls, but it isn't responsible for even a half of the things that it is accused of. And the rumor flames are constantly being fed by crazed and oblivious consumers and insidious media who need to have a scape goat to cover up for a considerable percentage of the hardware and software companies' own failures. Almost as if the media is purposely hired by companies to do just that...



einstein95 said:

You know what? I feel sorry for the people with their heads stuck in the sand, determined to see this matter as black and white. Well, I'm sorry, sorry about that, sorry about things that I've said, always let it get to my head.



cherrysunburst said:

I love modding and stuff. People mistake simple modifications for piracy and they always tie the two together.

WiiKey has a reputation to uphold. They'd have nothing to gain from lying. I'm following this story.

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