“Wait, have I gone back in time?” No, you haven’t, dear reader. Just recently, Nintendo of Japan sent out a puzzling message, asking that any customers who still own the venerable Nintendo NTR-010 Wi-Fi USB Connector, as well as the Nintendo WAP-001 Wi-Fi Adapter, refrain from using those products any further.
According to the company, they have identified a significant security flaw. The continued use of these devices may result in unauthorized access from third parties and infect machines with malicious code and/or viruses. Therefore, due to security reasons, they have opted to ask customers to refrain from using these devices and switch to more modern commercially available network devices.
Now, if you don’t remember what those devices are, then allow me to explain: The NTR-010 was a USB stick released on November 23, 2005, that you would use in order to connect your Nintendo DSi or your Wii to the Internet even if you were without a Wi-Fi connection or compatible Wi-Fi network to establish one via a broadband-connected PC. The other device mentioned, the WAP-001 Wi-Fi Adapter, was released three years later, in 2008, and served that same purpose, except it was a proper Wi-Fi router.
The primary reason that these devices are prone to vulnerability is that their encryption method is the dinosaur that is WEP, which was widely used from 2002 until being overtaken by the more-modern WPA in 2004. This means that if you even attempt to use those devices, a third party can easily rewrite configuration and firmware using buffer overflows and command injection because of how straightforward it is to decrypt these methods nowadays.
So, if you are using these devices to view this article right now, uh…maybe don’t? The way the message is worded is the equivalent to the “Do not use Windows XP to browse the Internet,” so for your safety, maybe start looking into the more modern options.
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