For those of you who still actively play Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon online on the Wii U, you might be waiting a little bit before it comes back online.
On March 3rd, VGC reported that Wii U titles Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon had been taken offline indefinitely while Nintendo attempts to resolve some security issues in the game.
This network service is currently unavailable due to urgent maintenance required to fix a vulnerability related to online play. We do not yet have information on when network services can be restored. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
VGC also notes that Nintendo dataminer OatmealDome suggests on Twitter that the security issue is “almost certainly” an exploit called ENLBufferPwn. The exploit allows users to take over someone else’s console and execute code on it, purely by playing against them online.
The security vulnerability is almost certainly ENLBufferPwn, which could allow an attacker to take over your console just by connecting to them online.
This exploit affected many of Nintendo’s games on the Switch, along with Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS.https://t.co/GWR6alQVy4
— OatmealDome (@OatmealDome) March 3, 2023
Said exploit appeared to be possible on other Nintendo games, including the 3DS’s Mario Kart 7 as well as a host of Nintendo Switch games that have online play. These games were all patched to remove this exploit, with Mario Kart 7‘s December update (11 years after the game was released) presumably addressing ENLBufferPwn.
OatmealDrone even noted back in December that the bug which allows ENLBufferPwn to be executed had been patched out of most Nintendo first-party except for Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon, warning users to “be very careful” when playing said titles online.
Nintendo is yet to address whether or not the current maintenance is due to the ENLBufferPwn exploit, and I highly doubt it’s something they would confirm publicly. As of writing, both games’ online capabilities are still down indefinitely.
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