Over the last few months, the account details of approximately 300,000 Nintendo users have been breached by hackers. In late April, the Japanese consumer electronics and video game company announced that 160,000 members of its user database had been breached. In June, after continuous investigation, Nintendo increased the number to the staggering 300,000.
The breach was discovered in April after Nintendo users started reporting on social media that they are missing funds that, in some cases, were used to purchase V-bucks, Fortnite’s virtual currency. The Japanese company also confirmed that Nintendo credits are not all the hackers managed to steal – the cybercriminals also had access to sensitive information such as DOB, usernames, country of origin, and email addresses. Linked payment services such as PayPal and credit card information might also have been compromised.
According to a statement released by Nintendo, only a small fraction of the hacked accounts have been used to make fraudulent purchases. The company said it is actively working on arranging refunds for all affected users that count to less than 3,000. While Nintendo continues to monitor the affected accounts, they invited its user database to continue to monitor their purchase history and report transactions they do not recognize. The consumer electronics company came under fire in April, when it sent a tweet encouraging users to enable two-factor authentication but took approximately two more weeks to inform Nintendo gamers that their accounts might have been breached.
The company apologized to its users and forced all affected accounts to change their passwords. As a new precaution, the Japanese videogame company offered two-factor verification on login. It removed the need for Nintendo Network ID (NNID), so now users can use their email addresses to login instead of the NNID. Nintendo is not the only videogames manufacturer to suffer a breach by hackers. Back in 2017, skillful hackers managed to snatch information of approximately 2.5 million Xbox and Sony Play Station users.
The investigation at Nintendo is ongoing, so it won’t be a surprise if in a few months the number of affected users double. If you are a Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, or a Nintendo Switch user, now is an excellent time to change your password, enable two-factor authentication, and make sure all connected devices have prominent antivirus software installed on them. Covid-19 shouldn’t be people’s only worry, hackers are using these difficult times to strike on all fields possible.
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