Nintendo fix Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon’s Wii U servers after five months

by Danny Craig  · 
Nintendo fix Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon’s Wii U servers after five months

Nintendo has announced the end of the maintenance period for the Wii U versions of Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon, which had been locked to offline play due to security concerns.

The details:

  • Back in March, Nintendo abruptly shut down the servers for the original versions of both games, citing the need for "urgent maintenance required to fix a vulnerability related to online play." The company did not elaborate on the problem, but data miner @OatmealDome speculated that it was most likely caused by the ENLBufferPwn exploit, which allowed attackers to take control of other players' consoles simply by playing online against them.
  • Nintendo has now announced via its support site that the maintenance has been completed, nearly five months after the services were initially shut down. Not only did the company apologize for the inconvenience, but it also stated that if further issues with the older releases arise, all online services may be shut down completely, as its player count is likely to be very small due to the Switch re-releases of both games. “If further issues occur which make it difficult to continue supporting online play, we may have to discontinue the online play service for the Wii U games Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 at short notice,” Nintendo warned. “Should this occur, please note that offline play would continue to function normally.”
  • The exploit was discovered to work on the 3DS, Wii U, and Switch, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Splatoon 2 and 3 all vulnerable to attack until Nintendo released a patch to prevent it. Allowing someone else to take control of your system without your permission is unquestionably harmful but hacker PabloMK7 revealed that the vulnerability could be used to not only install custom firmware but also steal sensitive information and take images and recordings of the player using the system's cameras and microphones.

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