Earlier this year we brought you the news of hackers that had utilised an exploit in the Wii U and Mario Kart 8, a workaround that broke through older firmware and the system's internet browser. The first video showed the duo manipulating sound and text in Mario Kart 8, before changing fonts within the Wii U system itself.
The workaround obviously has its limits, with Nintendo's system updates — that we often light-heartedly tease for their claims of 'stability' — clearly shutting down gaps in security. The MK8 modders — a term they prefer to the negative impression of being called hackers — have admitted as much in an interview with Kotaku.
The Wii U was a bit of a fortress. Nintendo's really done a better job this time around.
They [fail0verflow] broke all the way into the console. We stopped early. We could've gone on, but what's the point?
As we've pointed out in previous posts on these mods and the videos showing them off, the duo messing around with MK8 are keen to ensure their work doesn't break the game and its mainstream online community. Recognising the errors of younger days and the relentless hacking of Mario Kart Wii, the duo's emphasized that it won't be responsible for the same happening in the Wii U game.
We were the newbies at the time of the Wii. But when you look back on it, the game got pretty wrecked. Hacking became so thoroughly easy that it seemed like everybody started doing it. [Nintendo] didn't include proper protections, they didn't do x, y, or z to stop cheating.
We don't want that to happen again.
The modders are two brothers in the UK, but they're eager for their exploits to not interfere negatively in their lives, opting to use their online identities of Chadderz and Bean in the interview. It's always been made clear that the exploit used — primarily to have fun with the game — won't be distributed, with concerns clearly felt that their good intentions would be ruined in the wrong hands.
Chadderz: We're sitting on our exploit. It's a shame, really. We'd love to put it out there for people to use responsibly—
Bean: —but how?. If you share something at all, you share it with everybody!
Chadderz: The exploit will never leave this house.
You can check out the MrBean35000vr channel to see some of the strange effects the duo has achieved.
Are you reassured by these comments that the exploit and code won't be distributed, and are you confident that Nintendo's efforts to maintain security through firmware updates — largely successful so far — will continue to work? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks to Benson Uii for the heads up.