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DS owners hit by virus threat

Malicious code damages firmware

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

A new Trojan virus which renders the Nintendo DS useless by damaging the system's firmware has been doing the rounds on the Internet, masquerading as a pornographic home-brew application.

The virus, which has yet to be named, is embedded within a homebrew application supposedly designed for viewing "hentai" - Japanese erotic drawings. Once the software has been uploaded to the DS handheld, it immediately ruins the system's firmware, causing irreversible damage.

The news comes just days after a similar virus threat affected Sony's PSP handheld. Sony had released a firmware upgrade to prevent the use of homebrew software and pirated games on the PSP. Hackers found a loophole in the new firmware, creating a downgrade application which changes the system to its original, less secure firmware settings.

Taking advantage of the number of people downloading the firmware downgrade application, a malicious code then surfaced on the Internet which, rather than downgrading the firmware, caused damage that rendered the handheld useless.

Whilst both handhelds have now been the target of malicious code, the majority of owners will be unaffected, as the applications are unofficial products and must be uploaded to the devices to have any effect.

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