Notes from inside your Wii

HackMii header image 2

Dear Nintendo,

July 17th, 2008 by bushing · 13 Comments

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.


Update: A representative from Nintendo has contacted me (see comment below). The rest of you can stop emailing me now. Assuming Nintendo acts in good faith, I don’t expect to be writing much more about this until it’s resolved.

Update 2: Apparently I presume too much of e.g. MaxConsole. The “comment below” was referring to comment 11. I listed the email in the order I received it.

The rest of the copycat emails can stop now. Srsly, guys. I did not post my email address here to invite you to debate this with me. Suffice it to say that I have put more thought into this than you have, and when you find your own exploits you can decide how to handle them.

Tags: Wii

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 5:21 pm


    Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 13:31:26 +0100
    From: "Nin Tendo" <nintendo61@gmail.com>
    To: bushing
    Subject: Security issue.

    First of we do not support what you are doing, but since you found
    a issue that could allow pirated Wii games.

    We have to see to patch this as fast as possible, So what is
    this security issue you want to talk about.

    Tyson Green

  • 2 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 12:17:47 +0200
    From: s***@gmail.com
    To: bushing
    Subject: Concerning nintendo's open letter
    I followed your projects for a long time ago, and today i saw your open
    letter to nintendo.  I'm just asking you, why are you doing that?
    Its really weird to read that you want to work with nintendo's engineers
    after you spent months, working to find security breach.  Aren't you afraid
    that nintendo's may patch everything and prevent any hacking, like homebrew
    channel, TP, and stuff. :(
    Thanks for the answer, have a nice day
  • 3 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    From: t********s@hotmail.fr
    To: bushing
    Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 22:15:55 +0200
    Dear Bushing
        You do not know me is nobody know me (I wish that the rest).
    Because only I should have probably less than you in advance regarding the IOS.
    But know that the fault that you have that you have found and simply unusable.
    Hoping that is not the same as I have found.
    I will say no more because since I know you do not really have confidence.
    I will not talk with any code -- IOS -- etc so on the mail.
    Because you too you know what happens to this programmer who reveals too --
    I may seem strange but I have but reason.
    You can not bore no attention to this mail - but knows he will always be people 
    like me in the shade.
    As you view I am not english and therefore uses a translation software.
    T********s "PPCs"
    PS: I can you prove what i said
  • 4 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    From: ka********1@hotmail.de
    To: bushing
    Subject: Isos/backups
    Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 12:35:05 +0200
    first cIOS came out to dump isos on a non modded wii....
    now you say you can load isos/backus on a unmodded but i first was like 
    and then "won't be released... he wants nintendo to fix it" i was like 
    why do you do this? it would be even useful just for homebrew like a live DVD 
    version of linuxx or somewhat for people without that large sd cards :(
    why why why :(    ..... can'T you pleaaaaaase sed it to me? xD 
    i know the answer: no
    i swear i won't give it  to any other ppl xD
    well anyways:great job with your homebrew channel :P
  • 5 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    From: a*** b***** <c****d@hotmail.co.uk>
    To: bushing
    Subject: dear nintendo post (read please)
    Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 16:44:49 +0100

    hello bushing,
    i am not a nintendo engineer and i am not asking for how to run pirate games on the wii as i am COMPLETELY against piracy of all kinds. i am also a coder working on a project for the wii (not willing to disclose yet!) and i am intersted to know what the bug is. i would never use it and if you dont want to release this information i completely understand. i would never relese it and i would never disclose it. i am just interested to know what said bug is? i was under the impression that inorder to boot non nintendo discs there must be a harware modification? you see, i am writing a dvd playing program for the wii and at the minuit am am having trouble getting it to read the discs. so if you are willing to disclose it could be very useful. thankyou.


  • 6 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 20:06:20 +0200
    From: ge************an@gmail.com
    To: bushing
    Subject: Dear Bushing
    Dear Bushing,

    Please share your softmod for the wii with us. I really want to use some homebrew stuff as well as my backups from my wii games.

    Thanx in advance! 🙂

  • 7 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    From: Paul Hampton  <cuffamonk@xxx>
    To: bushing
    Subject: how to play pirated wii games
    Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 14:01:12 -0500

    how is this possible could you tell me how?

  • 8 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 6:38 pm


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    from: support@nintendo.com
    to: bushing
    date: 18 Jul 2008 21:00:07 +0100
    subject: HackMii Response

    Hello Bushing. This is a response regarding your troubleing announcement on hackmii.com. We would appreciate all of your help in preventing the public release of the exploit of the Wii software that you have found. We understand, through reading other posts on hackmii.com, that this may be in the form of a wii elf homebrew executable file. To help deal with this in a private matter. We will wish to chat with you via IRC on efnet. We will be under the username NB64W. We would like it if you could tell us about this bug and if we may be able to find an elf binary. This way, we should be able to release a Wii update to patch it and prevent from code inside this file from running.

    No, this email’s not real, it’s

    A little later…

    [13:01:05] <NB64W> Did you receive our email?
    [13:05:26] <NB64W> Bushing
    [13:06:29] <NB64W> We are here regarding your recent bug found in the Wii software.
    [13:08:45] <NB64W> Are you available for discussion
    [13:08:46] <NB64W> ?
    [13:15:34] <NB64W> Look, we don't have much time right now.  We'll be back on this IRC
                    server sometime next week.
    [13:16:01] NB64W left IRC. (mibbit.com: Bushing!)
  • 9 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    From: "f1r3w411 5p1d0r" <hummer_rc@h*****.com>
    To: bushing@gmail.com
    Subject: your find
    Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 23:59:57 -0700

    Dude you have to release how to play pirated games on an un modded wii,
    the fact that you posted that on a homebrew site means that your fine with hacking the wii
    so why not release this hack so we can play backups.

  • 10 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 01:41:08 -1530
    From: "jeffrey scott" <jsjeffreys1@****>
    To: bushing
    Subject: wii brew
    i dont think nintendo.belives u about the iso loader.i think u should
    let  it be released
    500k in my pocket not selling dope be xauze im fly then u my swagg is
    out of this world.yours is just blue.u hater.snap .whoop haters in diz
    b .
  • 11 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    (Insert a polite reply here from a real person at Nintendo, indicating that they received my message and will reply further shortly.)

    (No, I won’t be posting any other correspondence with them.)

  • 12 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    (author asked me to keep this email anonymous or confidential, so I’ll pick the former)

    Dear Bushing,

    I find your comment “Dear Nintendo” quite strange.

    Instead of playing nice with Nintendo, I believe you should release that bug to the public domain so that we can make a program for the homebrew channel to run backups – a softmod.

    In Norway, where I live, it is perfectly legal to sell modded systems and it is reasonable under fair use. Furthermore, making copies of software to close friends and family is not only legal – it is seen as legit and normal behavior.

    If you live in the U.S. (I don’t know where you live so it’s just to support my chain of thoughts) you might get problems from releasing such software, and you might have a different world view from many other people in the world in regards to these things. However, you would be in your full right to publish the details about the circumvention method, and also ethically on fair ground if you were to encourage Scandinavian modders to make the softmod and release it.

    Apart from that I would like to say that I really appreciate all your good work to bring homebrew to the Nintendo Wii. I’m using ScummVM and Gecko loader and loads of other software and I really appreciate homebrew enthusiasts like you that enable all this.

    However, I don’t see any separation or any strong need for the homebrew secene to differentiate itself from the copying scene. It’s a non-issue to me. They are different, but the need to prove it isn’t there IMHO – particularly because in most parts of the world ethics are different from what big corporations have brainwashed people to belive in America.

    N.B. Thanks for sending me one of the few respectful emails, although you still lose points for taking advantage of the email address I posted. As one of the “brainwashed”, I’m subject to the DMCA.

    There are lots of other reasons than running pirated games to open up the system.

    – Backups

    – Software that is not controlled by Nintendo. Games with adult content, for example. Should Nintendo have a monopoly on free speech on their systems? Like a video player that is locked so it can only play videos sanctioned by the maker of the player….?

    Now I DO see the wider picture. If softmods come out, Nintendo might get aggressive and delete all Homebrew with a system update. But they already started going down that path. I seriously doubt that you warning them of this glitch enabling backups will make them change their mind and think of the homebrew scene as something “better” – they are a huge corporation, there’s lots of money involved. I don’t think you’ll get anywhere by doind dialogue with Nintendo. I just don’t think so..

    I don’t really feel like getting into word games (“copy” vs “backup”). As for your last point, you may be right. At the same time, AFAIK nobody else has actually tried to engage Nintendo on a mature, professional level, so we feel obligated to try.

  • 13 bushing // Jul 20, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 20:33:32 -0400
    From: "jose corona" 
    To: bushing
    Subject: wii homebrew
    hey i seen u made a post about being able to run wii back-ups without a
    modchip, i was wondering if the  IOS37-64-v2070.wad  file is uploaded on the
    internet and if so could u give me a link to it