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Nintendo releases patch for security exploits in old 3DS, WiiU games

If you were wondering why some old Nintendo games got randomly updated recently, this is why.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 29, 2022

1 Min Read
Screenshot of Nintendo's Splatoon 2.

A recent update for Nintendo WiiU and 3DS games fixed a security exploit that would have allowed hackers to take over users' consoles when playing specific titles. First spotted by Nintendo Everything, the ENLBufferPwn vulnerability had already been reported to Nintendo in 2021, and it was also featured in a handful of recent Nintendo Switch games. 

One of the players who discovered the vulnerability, Pablomf6, stressed that an attacker could take over a player's system just by playing online with someone. That attacker could then use that exploit to obtain a player's sensitive information. 

On the Common Vulnerability Scoring System Calculator, the exploit had a score of 9.8 (or "critical"). 

Last week, some Nintendo users noted on social media that Mario Kart 7  had received its first update in a decade, and this is why: Nintendo's patch addressed that security flaw, and similar patches were released for Super Mario Maker 2, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Splatoon 2

More recent Switch games like Splatoon 3 and Nintendo Switch Sports also had the exploit, but Nintendo has reportedly already updated those titles, according to Nintendo Everything. 

However, Nintendo Everything pointed out that the vulnerability currently still exists in the original Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 for the WiiU. At time of writing, neither game has been patched, and it's unknown when a fix for those two titles will arrive.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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