Homebrew: deeper and deeper

One of the most active hacking communities is the homebrew addict. They attempt to be able to run their own software, so called homebrew, on proprietary game consoles. And they are successful on many platforms: XBOX, Wii, iPhone, … Sony was smart when designing PS3. It allowed to run homebrew linux applications. This may perhaps explain the current resistant to hack. The homebrew community does not need to reverse engineer it.

To run their homebrews, they have to reverse engineer the system of the console. Although their aim is not to hack the games, they provide precious information to the game hacking community.

Latest exploit is for the Wii. Twizzer team is currently designing a hack, so called bootmii, that replaces Nintendo’s boot by their own boot. In other words, it will be the hacked boot that will control the console. Thus, it may come below the radar of Nintendo patches and upgrades.   🙁

They analyzed the chain of trusted boots and detected the first element of the chain that could be replaced (in this case boot2). And due to a bug that allows to illegally sign a piece of code, they replaced boot2 by bootMii. BootMii is not yet finalized. BootMii will be an extraordinary hacking tool for the Wii.

Nintendo may fix the signature bug. But it will only impact the future deployed products. The bug is in the non rewritable part of the deployed consoles.

Conclusion: Examine carefully your business model when eliminating howmebrew applications from the feature list.

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