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160,000 Nintendo accounts hacked due to Nintendo Network ID hack

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo users have noticed an alarming bit of news over the past few weeks. It appears that someone has gained illegal access to Nintendo services at an unprecedented level. Over the last month, users and press outlets have been reporting on a mass-hack of Nintendo accounts, leading to potential leak of personal information, including credit card details. Nintendo has now confirmed that more than 160,000 Nintendo accounts were compromised as part of this ongoing security problem.

A Japanese press release, translated by game historian, producer, and localizer Robert Sephazon, explains that somehow the data was compromised and has leaked outside of Nintendo. The company is working on a solution, but they have a working theory. The running idea currently is that many of the accounts compromised were the result of reusing passwords or not regularly changing passwords. Some of the accounts hacked can be traced back to old account information used on the Wii U and Nintendo  3DS, which had either been reused or otherwise compromised.

“Users will be notified by email to reset your Nintendo Network ID and Nintendo Account. Please avoid reusing the password that you have already used on other websites and services,” wrote Nintendo. Going further, the company urged users to change their passwords and add recovery options. As well as checking their accounts for unauthorized purchases. Nintendo will offer refunds for any purchases that are the result of fraud.

“If you use the same password for your Nintendo Network ID and Nintendo Account, your account balance, registered credit card and/or PayPal may have been illegal used on My Nintendo Store or the Nintendo eShop. Please set different passwords for your Nintendo Network ID and Nintendo Account. ”

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One method of preventing such intrusions is to use complex and unique passwords for every site and service. A password manager like LastPass makes this easy, as it stores all your passwords in an encrypted form on a remote server, protecting them from being compromised. These browser addons also generate unique passwords and auto-fill them on any associated login fields.

It’s also a good idea to sign up for services like HaveIBeenPwned. These third-party services track data breaches and scan them for any e-mail addresses you register. You will get an alert when any breaches that affect you are detected. Be sure to change passwords on any linked accounts when you get one of these notices to prevent that old password from coming back to haunt you.

A very much necessary step is to enable two-factor authentication on all your accounts, but especially your financial accounts. Nitnedno supports this feature for their accounts as well. Read the guide on how to do that here: How to set-up two-step verification for a Nintendo Account.

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