Nintendo Confirms Account Breaches With Over 160,000 Switch Users Affected
The waters have been turbulent for the Nintendo Switch this past week. Earlier on, reports were coming in from multiple Switch users claiming that their Nintendo accounts had been hacked into. Nintendo began an investigation soon after, revealing just a few days ago that they began looking into it. As it turns out, our worst fears were correct: A mass hacking has taken place, and it has affected quite a number of users. In a post on their official website, Nintendo confirmed that over 160,000 Nintendo accounts were hacked into. Apparently, the issue came down to Nintendo Network ID logins; that's what the hackers were using to get into the accounts. Due to this, Nintendo has discontinued logins via Nintendo Network ID and those affected will receive password resets.
To clear up the confusion about logins, Switch users have two options when signing in: They can either use their new Nintendo account, or they can use a Nintendo Network ID. The NNID has been around since the 3DS and Wii U days, and it serves a similar purpose on those platforms; a catch-all login for all of your Nintendo consoles/handhelds. That casts the hackings into an even more alarming light, as it gives access to other platforms aside from the Switch. From now on, you'll need to use a Nintendo account when signing in to your Switch. "While we continue to investigate, we would like to reassure users that there is currently no evidence pointing towards a breach of Nintendo's databases, servers, or services," the company stated in their post. "As one action in our ongoing investigation, we are discontinuing the ability to use a Nintendo Network ID to sign in to a Nintendo Account. All other options to sign-in to a Nintendo Account remain available."
That just leaves one question remaining: What all was accessed? According to Nintendo, private information such as a nickname, date of birth, email address, and country/region were hit in the crossfire. Thankfully, credit card information was spared, so at least there's one silver lining. In a recent update to the Switch, Nintendo added the ability to enable two-factor authentication to your account. Nintendo highly recommends that all those affected by the hacks do so, but even if you weren't, it's a good thing to have enabled. It's a slight extra hassle for logging in, but it means your account is that much safer from troubles like these. Better safe than sorry, right? You can check your Nintendo Account's login history on Nintendo's website, but rest assured that Nintendo is in the process of contacting everyone affected. If any games were purchased by the unknown party, you can get them refunded through Nintendo's support network. For those of you making entirely new accounts after all of this, I would recommend choosing a different login and password than what you used with your NNID.
Nintendo concluded their statement by keeping their lips sealed about the means behind how the accounts were hacked. This, of course, is for the safety of everyone, lest other people get inspired by these methods and attempt something similar. "We apologize for the inconvenience and concerns caused to our customers, and we will continue working hard to safeguard the security of our users' data," Nintendo concluded. Hopefully, the whole mess gets fixed up soon. Since the problem was centralized around NNID accounts, removing these all together should see everyone safe and sound once again. Thankfully, the whole situation is doing nothing to slow down the Switch's sales. The console has been performing rather well lately, thanks in part due to a huge boost in sales alongside Animal Crossing: New Horizons' release. There are rumors swirling about the Internet that Nintendo may reveal a pro model of the Switch sometime this year, but for now, that's just hearsay. Stay safe out there, everyone, and keep your accounts nice and secure.