MelonDS, Nintendo DS emulator beta for Android

It has been a while since the DS was launched back in the year 2004. And since then a lot of emulators have made their way for the same. Some of those have been countered by Nintendo as well. A whole new for called the MelonDS is now out in 1.0.0 version.

The new MelonDS developers mention that the emulator’s feature set and performance are now in an acceptable state hence the beta version is out for people to download.

MelonDS Changelog

  • Uses melonDS 0.9.1 as the base
  • DSi support (you will need your BIOS, firmware and NAND files)
  • JIT support (on 64 bit devices, which should bring substantial performance benefits)
  • Threaded rendering (brings some considerable performance improvements)
  • Improved audio quality (or maybe it’s all placebo. You tell me)
  • External storage support (I couldn’t test this extensively. Let me know if anything goes wrong)
  • Microphone input support (the mic will always be listening while running a game. It will add a toggle eventually)
  • Minor bug fixes

Problem with fradulent Android emulators

In a previous report we spoke about how researchers have identified a litany of fraudulent Android applications in circulation, with millions of collective downloads, many of which play on video game-related themes.

According to security firm White Ops, a selection of 240+ Android apps have been engaged in deceptive behaviors using out of context (OOC) ads, designed to mimic those that might be served by popular platforms such as YouTube.

Often, these highly convincing apps took the form of Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulators, which provide a way for nostalgic Android users to play retro video games from the late 80s – such as Super Mario Bros.

What makes the RAINBOWMIX operation unusual, according to White Ops, is the effort that went into ensuring the apps function at least partially as advertised (increasing the likelihood a user returns) and the ease with which so many of them made their way onto the Google Play Store.

To bypass the various security protocols that guard against fraudulent software, the apps made use of a relatively unsophisticated technique involving packers, described as “software that obfuscates a final payload”.

“The code responsible for the out of context ads is located in packages that belong to legitimate SDKs, such as Unity and Android. All of the apps discovered seem to possess fairly low detection ratings across antivirus engines, largely because of the packer.”

The firm was careful to note, however, that its investigation did not detect any fraud directly tied to the legitimate SDKs referenced.

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