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Vulkan HeStan

Wii source code leaked on 4chan after hack on BroadOn servers

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Original articles:

Nintendo Life

Nintendo Everything

Original forum post:

ResetEra

 

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Nintendo has again fallen victim to hackers, as the source code and design files for its best-selling console, the Nintendo Wii, have been leaked online.

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Atheerios post on ResetEra:

As you may be aware, in the last few weeks in 4chan multiple Nintendo-related old things have been leaking, starting with old Pokémon debug ROMs and source code, then most recent 3DS debug ROMs, then keys for all consoles up until the DSi and now the biggest of them all: the full source code, design files, documentation and pretty much everything used to create the Revolution, aka Wii.

 

The files seem to come from a server hack related to the BroadOn company, who Nintendo hired for developing most of the Wii hardware and software.

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The same post goes on to explain how "the biggest and craziest thing" about the leak are the datasheets, block diagram, and Verilog files for every component:

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The biggest and craziest thing in this leak is the datasheets, block diagram and Verilog files for every component. Verilog is a hardware description language; is used to describe circuits via code, so with this we can learn how every single piece of the Wii was made.

The forum post also goes on to list the contents of the leak:

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-Source code for boot0/1/2
-Block diagram/datasheets for every system component & Verilog for AES/SHA
-Documents from BroadOn describing feature planning and implementation + APIs + docs for internal software
-Full IOS SDK
-Source code for IOS (IOS is the Wii Operating System)
-Planning docs for implementation of the system from 2004-2006
-some wii sdk library source code (DVD, EXI)
-source code and info on manufacturing and publishing systems
-some misc. nintendo stuff (internal WPAD SDK from 2005, Wii Overview from RVL_SDK 1.0)
-"sdboot", a special manufacturing version of boot2 which loads data from the SD card; is very buggy and likely exploitable for boot2 code execution on all Wiis (it is retail signed)
-gamecube and ique stuff as well (internal gamecube docs including physical disc layout, massive 2GB+ iQue dump including full CVS for that as well)

As well as the other content that has leaked over the last few weeks:

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Debug Builds of Blue and Yellow
Source code for Blue and Yellow
Japanese Debug Builds of G/S
Symbol Map for Crystal.
G/S Source code
Spaceworld '99 demos
Official GameBoy emulator
Internal lists that list everything released (including unreleased ones) for all Nintendo systems up to the DS
Pokémon Gen 7 debug builds, official 3DS legality checkers, a O-Power distribution CIA and a VC Mew distrubtion CIA
Source code for the N64, Gamecube and Wii

Atheerios also handily links a video showing a demo ROM from one of the leaked Nintendo 64 files, used to test the console:

All of this makes it a very exciting time to be an legacy Nintendo console fanboy (like me), possibly extending the possibilities of Homebrewers on their consoles.

 

Some of the enthusiasts on r/WiiHacks have been discussing the possibilities:

 

I'm very excited to see what people will be able to do with their Wiis now that there are no limits other than those of the hardware. (It'll be interesting to see if it can run Crysis)

 

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I guess this means at least old wii's may become somewhat useful.


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49 minutes ago, AlexOak said:

Homebrewer's aren't going to touch this. Even with a 10-foot pole. The legality that comes with this is high.  

https://twitter.com/Dolphin_Emu/status/1257051968045899776 

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1 hour ago, AlexOak said:

Homebrewer's aren't going to touch this. Even with a 10-foot pole. The legality that comes with this is high.  

https://twitter.com/Dolphin_Emu/status/1257051968045899776 

Does trade secret protection even apply with public leaks?

 

(though software is still protected by copyright obviously). 


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Well then again the Wii and it's source is considered abandon ware by definition and I don't think that Nintendo would even be concerned with home brewing as long as someone isn't profiting off of it. I mean whether we like admit it or not the Wii is a thing of the past along with the Original Xbox, the play station 2... That generation of consoles are unsupported and retro

18 minutes ago, Zodiark1593 said:

Does trade secret protection even apply with public leaks?

 

(though software is still protected by copyright obviously). 

so to sum up Nintendo will most likely leave it be like with their old consoles

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11 minutes ago, ChunkyPanda03 said:

Well then again the Wii and it's source is considered abandon ware by definition and I don't think that Nintendo would even be concerned with home brewing as long as someone isn't profiting off of it. I mean whether we like admit it or not the Wii is a thing of the past along with the Original Xbox, the play station 2... That generation of consoles are unsupported and retro

so to sum up Nintendo will most likely leave it be like with their old consoles

Using leaked schematics would probably classify as a grey area if the law. Someone could probably defend such a lawsuit, but the costs would be formidable. 
 

Because Dolphin was built via clean room reverse engineering, which is to say, figured out how the underlying components of the console functioned via either official publicly disclosed information (not illicit leaks of trade secrets), or lots of poking and prodding, there is no grey area to provide grounds for a lawsuit. Devs are 100% in the clear, and given how well Dolphin works, I see no reason for them to risk that. 
 

Using BIOS software from any console is subject to copyright law however. Retro, abandonware or not. 


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56 minutes ago, Zodiark1593 said:

Does trade secret protection even apply with public leaks?

 

(though software is still protected by copyright obviously). 

There's that and code. Can't straight duplicate code outside of basic essential things.

 

37 minutes ago, ChunkyPanda03 said:

Well then again the Wii and it's source is considered abandon ware by definition and I don't think that Nintendo would even be concerned with home brewing as long as someone isn't profiting off of it. I mean whether we like admit it or not the Wii is a thing of the past along with the Original Xbox, the play station 2... That generation of consoles are unsupported and retro

so to sum up Nintendo will most likely leave it be like with their old consoles

I kind of just wish the Xbox, PS2, or PS3 would've been leaked to get better versions of those emus going or jumpstarted.


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Who is this leaker known as "John four chan" and why is he on steroids?


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46 minutes ago, JZStudios said:

I kind of just wish the Xbox, PS2, or PS3 would've been leaked to get better versions of those emus going or jumpstarted.

Yeah right, the PCSX2 devs are too concerned about polishing mediocre recompilers that barely work than to actually make their emulator work properly.


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Custom firmware let's gooooooooooooooo

Gonna hook up my old wii in my van and play copies of games I legally own and nothing illegal in the slightest


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4 hours ago, Vulkan HeStan said:

I'm very excited to see what people will be able to do with their Wiis now that there are no limits other than those of the hardware. (It'll be interesting to see if it can run Crysis)

Between all the N64 support, the Gamecube BC, and the early gen Wii games, the Wii is still a pretty good console and I still have my BC Wii hooked up to my main TV. Wonder if a good N64 emulator will be written for it to play Conker, Goldeneye, and Perfect Dark. At least most of the rest of the N64 highlights were already on the Wii VC.

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43 minutes ago, handymanshandle said:

Yeah right, the PCSX2 devs are too concerned about polishing mediocre recompilers that barely work than to actually make their emulator work properly.

Ugh PCSX2 is so frustrating to use. Just bought a real PS2 and some component cables to get my uncensored GTA fix in as well as play oddball stuff like Drakengard.

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oh my oh my my my 

What a wonderful day this is for wii owners

Can already see some Chinese company making slim good looking wii portables without having to cut your own wii motherboard

 


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1 hour ago, imreloadin said:

Oh nooooo how will Nintendo survive now that the software for their 14 year old console was leaked?!?!?

Depends on whether code was reused at all for later renditions.  It could allow hackers to find exploits within the Switch...so yes, it could be a bigger deal


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Hell yeah this is good news. I was just researching today the Mario Kart mod that adds in 200+ tracks and online again. The Wii is still better than the switch 


ƆԀ S₱▓Ɇ▓cs: i7 6ʇɥפᴉƎ00K (4.4ghz), Asus DeLuxe X99A II, GT҉X҉1҉0҉8҉0 Zotac Amp ExTrꍟꎭe),Si6F4Gb D???????r PlatinUm, EVGA G2 Sǝʌǝᘉ5ᙣᙍᖇᓎᙎᗅᖶt, Phanteks Enthoo Primo, 3TB WD Black, 500gb 850 Evo, H100iGeeTeeX, Windows 10, K70 R̸̢̡̭͍͕̱̭̟̩̀̀̃́̃͒̈́̈́͑̑́̆͘͜ͅG̶̦̬͊́B̸͈̝̖͗̈́, G502, HyperX Cloud 2s, Asus MX34. פN∩SW∀S 960 EVO

Just keeping this here as a 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1 hour ago, wanderingfool2 said:

Depends on whether code was reused at all for later renditions.  It could allow hackers to find exploits within the Switch...so yes, it could be a bigger deal

The switch uses completely different components so I doubt it.

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1 hour ago, wanderingfool2 said:

Depends on whether code was reused at all for later renditions.  It could allow hackers to find exploits within the Switch...so yes, it could be a bigger deal

Why would anything be reused between the two? They have different architectures, load games from different media, use different OSes with different bases, use different game packing methods. Nothing is shared between the two at all.

 

Also lets be very clear, both the Wii and the Switch are already WIDE OPEN for hacking and homebrew, neither console needs extra help. The Switch is such a mess that Nintendo have tried twice to stop hacking on the device and both times have failed. The Wii is one of the easiest consoles to mod, heck you need nothing except the consoles serial number and a website to blow it WIDE open.


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3 hours ago, imreloadin said:

Oh nooooo how will Nintendo survive now that the software for their 14 year old console was leaked?!?!?

Don't worry. The current copyright law ensures that anyone trying to use this for any purpose of improving the world will be shut down and have their lives financially ruined. Nintendo has around 140 years left of exclusivity to this code. So maybe in the year ~2162 we will get a perfect Wii emulator.

 

The entire copyright and patent system surrounding software is so fucked... Because of this leak, emulators like Dolphin are at risk.

Nintendo could now attack Dolphin because as soon as some code is published to Dolphin, Nintendo can claim that it was developed using their code which was stolen. If a developer proves that the code wasn't stolen by making comparisons, the developers admits to having downloaded and looked at stolen information from Nintendo. And even if the code isn't the same, Nintendo could argue that they just took the stolen code and modified it slightly, which I believe is still illegal. They would have no evidence to support the claims, but if it's Nintendo and their nearly endless funds vs some indie developer then they can just keep the legal battle going until the developer runs out of money and have to settle (and the settlement would probably be to seize development).

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51 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

Don't worry. The current copyright law ensures that anyone trying to use this for any purpose of improving the world will be shut down and have their lives financially ruined. Nintendo has around 140 years left of exclusivity to this code. So maybe in the year ~2162 we will get a perfect Wii emulator.

 

The entire copyright and patent system surrounding software is so fucked... Because of this leak, emulators like Dolphin are at risk.

Nintendo could now attack Dolphin because as soon as some code is published to Dolphin, Nintendo can claim that it was developed using their code which was stolen. If a developer proves that the code wasn't stolen by making comparisons, the developers admits to having downloaded and looked at stolen information from Nintendo. And even if the code isn't the same, Nintendo could argue that they just took the stolen code and modified it slightly, which I believe is still illegal. They would have no evidence to support the claims, but if it's Nintendo and their nearly endless funds vs some indie developer then they can just keep the legal battle going until the developer runs out of money and have to settle (and the settlement would probably be to seize development).

No. The burdon of proof is on the accuser and the legalities of emulation have already been established (Sony Vs Bleem). Even if the dolphin team do look at the code and rewrite it there's no way Nintendo can prove anything. The best they can do, as you said, is keep appealing in an effort to keep the action going in court in an attempt to dry up the Dolphin teams funds so they go out of business (which is a common tactic used in corporate legal cases) but usually the Courts get wise to this tactic pretty quickly and put a stop to it. There can be no settlement if there is no guilty verdict,and there can be no guilty verdict as Nintendo cannot prove any code was derivative.

 

Edit - Besides which, there's nothing really useful to them anyway. The vast majority of the leaked information could be useful to people hacking the real hardware but for emulation development, not really. (the exception is the source code to the OS libraries which is VERY useful for writing an emulator).

 

The people who will be most excited about this are the people not involved in the scene. Those who are probably A) don't care and B) wouldn't touch this leak with a barge poll. At best it gives them alternative methods to do what they already can, at worst it brings hell down on to them very quickly.

 

This isn't the first time something like this has happened, I remember the OG Xboxes SDK was leaked (and this was while it was still a current console) and I remember the response from the scene was "Meh, we've already got the tools to do everything this can do that we've made ourselves. Why would we touch this?".


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Posted · Original PosterOP

On a lot of the forums and reddit discussions I've been reading, it seems to me that most people are excited more about the prospect of bringing bricked wiis back from the dead.

 

Nintendo very much fight tooth and nail in copyright disputes, and it's become near impossible to find ROMs for old games and consoles no longer supported by Nintendo (which is weird because they're not suffering any financial burden from their existence). 

 

Most of the homebrew community don't like to get their hands dirty, and many forums have banned discussions about piracy etc. I think the only people who will really delve deep into the source code are the 4chan dwellers and vpn users who aren't scared of the legal complications of producing software and firmware using the leaked code. 

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The original Xbox had leaks of the southbridge embedded ROM, encryption keys, kernel source, full SDK, development documentation, debug dashboard and the debug ROM. There is apparenetly "XBLOB" out there too (Xbox Live On a Box), a fully self-contained installation for developing and testing Live games. I got all of it apart from XBLOB on publically acessable websites, and it was all available while the console was current. Microsoft failed to take down any of it whilst the console was current, I doubt Nintendon't have a chance.

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