It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the bunch, and the hacking/modding community has its fair share of rotten fruit. Viruses spread with the intention to hurt, Trojans are made with the purpose of destroying. And security issues designed for identity theft are largely the result of a few misguided computer specialists.
Recently, the newest line of gaming handhelds have become victims of some damaging programs. The PSP, which is fertile ground for the modding community, was the first casualty of a Trojan. The file, disguised as an update to the system's firmware, simply rendered PSPs useless.
The Nintendo DS was next, and its bricker was disguised as a viewer for Japanese hentai. Now, one person has come forth to apologize for the program. On a personal Web site, a modder by the name of Dark Fader takes full responsibility for the Trojan but says it was aimed to target ROM pirates (gamers interested in homebrewed code for illegal purposes).
"I want to say sorry to everyone out there. I should have realized the impact, which was not just a few DS'es that were bricked, but all the damn mediahype. If you don't want an apology, then screw you because you're probably just another ROM pirate or someone that just doesn't need an apology because one is not affected but still likes to meddle with it," the author says. "I cannot really justify my actions. It was also very selfish to draw some attention, which I tend to do in odd ways."
Dark Fader goes on to warn others not to run programs that aren't from a trusted source. "I don't want to say you can't run any homebrew programs, but the DS (and PSP) just wasn't made for it since it allows corruption of firmware by ease. If you must run homebrew progams, please use a 'trusted' source. Trust is a relative thing, but I would not put harmful programs on my site. I could have stayed anonymously with the bricker, you know."
To wipe vital parts of the DS's memory, owners must upload the program and execute it. The file was released in two forms and showed one of two images (see screens) before taking effect. The site contains links to some utilities that can help restore affected DSes.