E3 went off without a hitch this year; hundreds of thousands of people descended on L.A to join in the annual festivities that makes E3 one of the best gaming conventions around. Little did we know however, that behind the scenes a sinister plot was in place to rob Nintendo of some iconic property. That’s right, a heist of biblical proportion (almost) was about to go down.
According to the notorious Nintendo hacker NWplayer123 a plan to steal the working demo of Zelda: Breath of The Wild had been in development for months. Apparently the mastermind behind the heist is the unknown hacker that was last responsible for the hacking of Mario Kart.
Before I continue with this Ocean worthy tale, I must point out that this is information is all according to NWplayer123’s account of the event. As it inexorably failed, she felt she could divulge a few details to the world. NWplayer123 is a well known hacker that has managed to hack Nintendo may times in the past. She is responsible for a large majority of the global leaks associated with Nintendo so she does carry a lot credibility in this field.
According to the mystery hacker all that was needed to steal the game was access to a demo pod and a Wii U Gamepad. Using the Gamepad the hacker would be able to access the inner workings of the unit and attempt to get the console to ‘dump’ the demo data into a file specifically created by the hacker.
After the file has been dumped a tool called TCP Gecko was to be used which would allow the transfer of data to initiate. This can take hours but as the crafty programme works in the background, in theory, no one would be any the wiser that the siphon was taking place.
The user would navigate to a special webpage which tricks the Wii U into running code not developed by Nintendo (we call this arbitrary code execution (ACE)). Once the user has achieved ACE, they can then cause the Wii U to do almost anything they would like it to. - A.W. Chadwick, TCP Gecko
However, the hacker’s first major problem came in the form of console choice. Nintendo had not used retail units to demo the game which meant a major recalculation would have to be made. Doh! Back to the hotel for rethink, ready for day two.
Having to code stuff last minute was a sort of stressing ideal. Mainly [because] you never know how long or how much testing one might need to do before it works, and [there being] a very strict timeframe made the situation worse. Hacker told Kotaku.
Day two’s efforts were thwarted almost immediately when the hacker realised that the dev units used for the demo were not hooked up to the internet. This was not a major issue, our crafty hacker was able to access a sub menu on the console that allowed him access to the internet.
But after hacking into the console and dumping the data and linking with the PC over the internet the Gecko programme went and copied the wrong file. Doh! Back to the hotel to await the third and final attempt.
With help from NWplayer123 our hacker returned to the Expo full of confidence that they would now be able to pull off the perfect heist. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending which way you look at it, all the demo slots for Zelda were booked so he was unable to get back onto a machine.
And with that dreams of pulling off the Nintendo heist of the century died. Quite the story though, isn’t it!? But, thankfully, I guess it’s true, thieves never prosper.
Can you believe this story?