In recent weeks, the producer of many older Nintendo games has released small patches for both last-generation systems and current-generation ones in an effort to fix critical security flaws. While Nintendo consistently provides updates for many of the company’s most successful titles, older games often cease getting updates after a few years. Fans were perplexed when Mario Kart 7 got a fresh update for the first time in ten years with no big changes. Nintendo has now confirmed that the update was tied to a critical vulnerability.
The 3DS and Wii U systems are still popular options for many entry-level players today, despite Nintendo themselves having abandoned them years ago. Both systems’ online play was terminated earlier this year, and the eShops for both are expected to cease in early 2023. Early this year, social media sharing on the devices was also discontinued, with users no longer able to share in-game images to Facebook or Twitter from their consoles. Several older titles, however, are getting fresh patches to solve a significant vulnerability that might put gamers in danger.
Nintendo’s upgrades aim to fix a newly found vulnerability known as “ENLBufferPwn,” which is assessed as a 9.8/10 vulnerability. The problem was discovered to be present in several titles and poses a severe danger to users wishing to play vintage games, potentially leading to the theft of financial information as well as camera and mic access. The flaw was discovered in many titles for the 3DS, Wii U, and Switch, with games as recent as Nintendo Switch Sports vulnerable.
The developer would caution fans that additional first-party games may be susceptible even if Nintendo is trying to fix the problems revealed in the games. The exploit is a “buffer overflow” attack, with the affected games failing to establish a hard limit on the amount of data delivered during a play session. Animal Crossing: New Horizons received its first update in many months earlier this year, with many fans assuming that the vulnerability impacted New Horizons. The list of games impacted by the possible vulnerability includes New Horizons.
The Wii U and 3DS saw different fates during the course of their existence as Nintendo keeps removing internet functions from the two platforms. The Wii U was notable for its lacklustre debut and brief tenure in the limelight, with the device being discontinued less than five years after its initial release. The 3DS went on to become one of Nintendo’s most successful handheld platforms, selling over 75 million copies over the course of its nine-year career. While the systems can no longer access their internet services, the 3DS and Wii U continue to provide hours of entertainment for many Nintendo aficionados.