Forensic Analysis of the Nintendo Wii Game Console

By popular* demand… my MSc thesis from 2010. Still, as far as I’m aware, the most complete analysis of the original Nintendo Wii console. Possibly for good reason!


Like other modern game consoles, the Nintendo Wii provides users with a powerful networked device capable of performing many of the tasks carried out by a conventional desktop personal computer. Unlike other modern game consoles however, the Nintendo Wii utilises an internal NAND flash storage device in lieu of a standard hard disk drive, and thus cannot be imaged in the same manner as the Microsoft Xbox or Sony Playstation 3. The difficulties in imaging the device are exacerbated by the tightly-controlled, proprietary nature of the platform, and have led to forensic examiners being faced with the choice of ignoring the Nintendo Wii completely, or performing a live examination and potentially destroying evidence.

Through a series of experiments, investigates the feasibility of a number of hardware and software procedures designed to capture the raw data held by the Nintendo Wii’s NAND flash storage device so that conventional digital forensic techniques may be applied to the console. In addition to the successful capture of data, this report also describes a process by which the console can be restored to a previously-captured state, reducing the risks associated with performing a live examination. Also described is the analysis of the captured NAND flash image, which has demonstrated the recovery of a partial history of internet usage and sent Wii Message Board communications – information which was previously thought to be inaccessible by any other means.

Link: Forensic Analysis of the Nintendo Wii Game Console
SHA1: 376de01c8e404cd6674199c19c20b7cb456355d3
MD5: 24ec2d5cc539d3f7d2dc7168b077af77

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