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Lecture: Nintendo hacking 2023: 2008

Finishing off the Nintendo DSi

Over the years, many talks about console jailbreaks have been presented at CCC. However, one console has been left overlooked: the Nintendo DSi. It didn't see any serious hacks in its active lifetime, the ones that eventually appeared aren't completely satisfactory, and several components (such as its boot ROMs) were left untouched. In this presentation, we rectify the situation, explain how to extract the boot ROMs, and demonstrate new jailbreaks that can take over the console at an even deeper level. As a bonus, this work makes it possible to revive consoles with worn-out eMMC NAND chips.

This presentation will start with an introduction to the hardware of the Nintendo DSi and the history of earlier hacking attempts. This is followed by an explanation on how to extract, analyze, and exploit the boot ROMs of the console, leading to a complete defeat of the security of the system.

This presentation will not shy away from technical explanations involving software exploitation, fault injection, cryptography, and hardware design. We will however try to make it understandable and enjoyable to less technically-inclined audiences.

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