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Nintendo DS Wi-Fi uses obsolete WEP security

Vladimir Cole

DS Wifi uses wep security onlyIn these flickr images captured by "Apreche" at the Digital Life Show in NYC on Friday, we can see the unlaunched interface for the Nintendo DS's Wi-Fi capabilities. Interesting features include:

  • Save settings for up to three connections

  • Auto-detection of available wi-fi networks

  • Support for primary and secondary DNS servers

  • Support for DHCP and static IP addresses

  • Support for WEP (but not WPA!) security

This last item is going to earn the system some real bronx cheers. According to security experts, WEP is an obsolete protocol for securing wireless data transmissions. Earlier this year, the FBI gave demonstrated that they could crack open a "WEP-protected network in 3 minutes using publicly available tools" (source).

So what's the big deal if someone's snooping on your Mario Kart race? There's probably not too much risk, as most hackers are going to be looking for the juicy stuff, like people signing in to their PayPal accounts or engaging in PictoChat cyber. This does expose the DS to man-in-the-middle and hijacking attacks, but does that mean that viruses and bricking trojans can be introduced to game devices via wireless attack?

Update: writes reader NYN, "The real problem in this I suppose is that you won't be able to go online with your DS if you have your wireless router configured with a WPA key." Exactly!

[Thanks, Anand, Crushed and others who mailed this in.]

In this article: DS, PSP

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