fail0verflow (formerly known as Team Twiizers) is our resident "1337 h4x0r" group. They are essentially responsible for the past and present formation of the Wii Homebrew scene. They are also responsible for the majority of work involving brick recovery. They should not be confused with the similarly named Team Twizzlers.
Team Twiizers is named for the infamous tweezer attack in which a pair of tweezers was used to obtain the Wii's private encryption keys. Once the Wii's private keys were obtained, exploration of the system could truly get into full swing.
Video Source: crediar's clip of bushing from the 24c3 conference (Jan 2008).
At the annual 24c3 hacker conference, bushing demonstrated an altered version of Lego Star Wars which was used to load some basic code displaying Wii Remote data in real time.
Video Source: bushing
An exploit found in the save system of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii version) led to the next step: the release of the Twilight Hack, which could load executables containing custom code compiled against libogc. The Twilight Princess exploit worked by using a modified save file containing a name for Link's horse, which was long enough to cause a buffer overflow pointing to a memory address containing the loader code.
Video Source: bushing
Then followed the collaborative creation and eventual release of the Homebrew Channel, which was installable via the Twilight Hack or by using a special ISO for Wii consoles with modded disc drives.
The Homebrew Channel was and is one of the only homebrew applications to feature an automatic update capability.
fail0verflow has collaborated on a wide variety of projects, including a study of Wii bricks and custom booting to allow independence from Nintendo updates that may otherwise be necessary in the future for newer games.
BootMii is a patch applied to boot2 that will check for homebrew and launch it instead of loading the system menu (if nothing is present then it will proceed to boot normally into the Wii System Menu). It can be used to load the homebrew channel, for example, bypassing the need to ever install it on your Wii. It can also be used to load Linux, or perhaps even a completely different menu interface which is fully capable of launching channels and games. However, it is mainly used for brick recovery, due to its NAND backup and restoration capabilities.
fail0verflow has always gone out of their way to make clear the point that they do not support nor want anything to do with piracy or pirates. They are simply a group of hacking enthusiasts who share their work with the community that they played a major part in founding, and have made every effort to ensure that their work is not associated with bootlegging.
The following people are either current members or have been publicly known members of fail0verflow in the past. Some may be inactive from time to time. Since much of the work is collaborative, at certain times there may be others working with the team or there may be publicly unknown members of the team working behind the scenes.
Members from later hacking scenes
Due to fail0verflow's stance on piracy and their efforts to keep Nintendo from making things more difficult for homebrewers, the team has had to keep several details about certain exploits and pieces of code under wraps. These measures have caused some concern within the community of end-users, many of whom feel that all of the code and the details of exploits should be made publicly available to everyone, not simply a portion of it. Still others are upset over rumors and misinformation surrounding the issue, and yet more are simply spurned by the deliberate attempt to exclude software pirates. A few simple facts should be noted:
- Homebrew is not illegal, nor is any of the reverse engineering that was done in order to enable it. However, software piracy is illegal. This is not to say that laws do not vary from country to country, but as a general rule, it holds.
- fail0verflow has never used any copyrighted/stolen code in their projects. Everything they have released has been created with original code. As such, they retain the right to do with it as they wish.
- Releasing the details of exploits along with certain code would be giving a free hand to pirates while alerting Nintendo to exactly what they needed to patch. Since this would go against Twiizer's anti-piracy stance as well as making things harder on homebrew developers and their end-users, it is obvious why it has not been done.
- fail0verflow does not profit from their work. Period. All money received goes directly into paying for bandwidth costs.
- fail0verflow is part of a larger community of hacking and coding enthusiasts/hobbyists for whom they shoulder some of the responsibility in keeping the ball rolling. Since that is the case, many of the administrative actions taken by Twiizers are done directly in that interest.
- 25c3 appearance (Jan 2009)