Nintendo is on fire right now, breaking records with their Animal Crossing: New horizons and Switch sales, but success has a way of attracting slums and criminals and the company has admitted that over 160,000 Nintendo accounts have been accessed with a major privacy breach. A Nintendo Account is required to access online services or purchase digital games on a Switch. If you’ve been hacked, private details, including your address and email, may have been exposed. Fortunately, credit card and PayPal data cannot be accessed simply by signing into a Nintendo Account, although hackers can and have used registered payment methods to purchase things.
Most, if not all, of the unauthorized logins have occurred through the Nintendo Network ID system (you can also log into a Nintendo Account through Twitter, Facebook, and Google). The ability to log in with an NNID has now been disabled. In a statement, Nintendo claims that its own databases and servers were not compromised, meaning the hackers logged in using passwords and information obtained elsewhere – so, in other words, if your Switch has been hacked, you have a bigger security issue on your hands. Change all your passwords now.
Here is Nintendo security breach statement:
We would like to provide you with an update on recent incidents of unauthorized access to certain Nintendo Accounts. As we continue our investigation, we would like to reassure users that there is currently no evidence to indicate a violation of Nintendo’s databases, servers or services. As part of our ongoing investigation, we are removing the ability to use a Nintendo Network ID to sign in to a Nintendo Account. All other Nintendo Account sign-in options remain available.
As an added precaution, we will be contacting users shortly regarding resetting Nintendo Network IDs and Nintendo Account passwords that we have reason to believe have been accessed without authorization.
During the course of the investigation, in order to deter further unauthorized login attempts, we will not reveal more information about the methods used to gain unauthorized access. We apologize for the inconvenience and concerns caused to our customers, and we will continue to work hard to protect the security of our users’ data.
Nintendo encourages Switch owners to set up two-step verification for their Nintendo accounts. You can learn to do this, here.
I urge Switch owners to check out any strange account activity as soon as possible. Has anyone been affected by this violation?