Yesterday, we reported on a surprise new Animal Crossing: New Horizons minor update released by Nintendo on November 14th with the typical official patch notes offering very little information on any changes.
With that drought of official details, we offered some healthy speculation yesterday about how the update was likely addressing a common bug across shared code between multiple games and unfortunately was unlikely to be anything of real interest to Animal Crossing players.
But hey, fans get understandably nosy and curious about any kind of update to their favorite games even if it’s likely mundane — and so do we. With that in mind and the advent of more information on the update released today, let’s take a look at exactly what Nintendo fixed in Version 2.0.6 of Animal Crossing: New Horizons!
As discussed in our previous article, three other Nintendo developed games received an update at the same time including Splatoon 2, ARMS, and Super Mario Maker 2. It turns out that these four games did in fact make use of a common library named ‘enl’, which is part of each game’s network code.
Inside of this commonly used ‘enl’ library, multiple security exploits were discovered including out-of-bounds read / write and nullptr deref bugs, making it possible for a nefarious individual to crash your Nintendo switch or even run arbitrary code remotely.
As an example, OatmealDome points out that it could be possible for someone malicious to potentially delete your game save file by sending code remotely — which would be a pretty awful outcome for a game like Animal Crossing where some players pour in literally thousands of hours into their island!
Nintendo would have been concerned as well that these exploits could potentially open a new pathway to hacking the Nintendo Switch hardware in the future if additional OS exploits are discovered in the future to chain together.
And as an extra tidbit of information for those interested in little details, it seems that these bugs were actually fixed by the way of a bug report sold to Nintendo, so the issue was fixed privately before it could be used for nefarious purposes — this is known as a ‘bug bounty’ in the industry.
So there you go, it’s confirmed, no real changes at all to Animal Crossing: New Horizons inside of the Version 2.0.6 update — but hey, maybe you learned a thing or two about game development? We’ll just have to keep on waiting until Nintendo is ready to reveal their next plans for the Animal Crossing franchise, whenever that may be…
Special thanks to OatmealDome, yellows8, and Rambo6Glaz for information used in this article.
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