Nintendo suffers major hack affecting 160,000 online accounts

Nintendo said Friday that personal information from about 160,000 online accounts may have been exposed in a major hack.

The company, which makes the Switch gaming console, said on a support page (published in Japanese) that hackers “obtained illegally” the personal IDs and passwords of the affected accounts. Additionally, it said the hackers had attempted to log in to an unspecific number of accounts by using the stolen information in early April.

The hack comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a surge in Nintendo Switch sales as people seek to entertain themselves while quarantined. Research firm NPD Group said earlier this week that Nintendo Switch sales in March had “more than doubled when compared to a year ago.”

As a result of the hack, the company is disabling the ability for people to log on to their online Nintendo accounts with their Nintendo Network ID. The company also said that it would reset the passwords for the accounts that hackers may have tried to access.

Some of the personal information that may have been exposed include people’s names, date of birth, country, gender, and email addresses. No credit card information was exposed, Nintendo said. 

The company said it would notify impacted users by sending them emails telling them that their passwords had been reset. It urged those affected users to “please avoid reusing the password that you have already used for other services.”

“In the future, we will make further efforts to strengthen security and ensure safety so that similar events do not occur,” Nintendo said on a translated version of the support page.

Nintendo recommend that its customers set up two-step authentication for their Nintendo accounts as an added security measure.

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