Wii’s Internet Channel Exploit Not Patched After All

Looks like the Flash exploit hasn’t been patched with yesterday’s update after all.

I was using the Internet Channel as usual today and ironically, the problematic Flash presentation that froze my Wii was on Nintendo’s very own site! I always visit the European Nintendo site via the Favourites section of the browser just to see what’s new but today, it froze my Wii.

The culprit was that Flash banner near the top of the site which displays a random game ad every time you load up the page. If you happen to come across the Elite Beat Agents ad, your Wii should freeze up just as you see the yellow background and rays. This is the kind of exploit I was talking about before.

Nintendo Site

I should have guessed it wasn’t fixed because the Adobe Flash Player 7 is embedded into the Opera browser and not the Wii itself. If Nintendo were to fix it, they would have to first pay Adobe for a new version of their Flash Player (currently version 9), get Opera to implement it into their browser and then let people download the new version of the Internet Channel from the Wii Shop. For the time being, they might have decided it’s not necessary because the bug hasn’t really been exploited yet.

Until a new version is released, hackers can still craft up the right Flash presentation to exploit this bug once they’ve figured out what code makes the Wii tick. Now that’s the hard part; injecting code that the Wii understands. But if someone could modify the DS’ firmware, I’m sure there will also be someone who’ll work out the Wii’s mechanics.

Now the question is… If Nintendo does release a new version of the Internet Channel, will they let people keep using the flawed version or, will they disable it via a future Wii update and force people to upgrade?

I do hope they consider enhancing the browser’s functionality if they do release a new version. Being able to search, copy and paste text would make the browser even more enjoyable to use.

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