Nintendo confirms 160,000 user accounts hacked; cyber criminals steal sensitive information

Nintendo said login details obtained illegally by some means other than its service

Japanese video game giant Nintendo has confirmed that over 160,000 user accounts have been hacked. They said cyber criminals gained the login details many IDs as well as passwords, while the company has started notifying those who were affected.

Nintendo said the login information "obtained illegally by some means other than its service" was used since the start of April to gain access to these accounts.

Nintendo under cyber attack

The Japanese company said that nicknames, date of birth, country and email addresses may have been accessed by the threat actors during the hacking attempts, while some accounts have experienced fraudulent purchases.

In a statement on Monday, the company said, "This time, login IDs and password information were obtained illegally by some means other than our service, a phenomenon that seems to have been made by impersonating login to Nintendo Network ID (NNID) from around the beginning of April."

The company also stated: "We also confirm that there was an illegal login to some 'Nintendo accounts' via NNID using this impersonation login," adding that they have dismissed the function of logging in to a Nintendo account via NNID.

Nintendo Switch
Logos of Nintendo Switch game console are seen at an electronics store in Tokyo, Japan March 3, 2017 Toru Hanai/Reuters

Thousands of Nintendo users are under threat

The company asked the users to reset the password and advised them to avoid reusing the password which they have already used for other services. Nintendo officials suggested that "If you have already logged into your Nintendo account via NNID, please log in with your Nintendo account email address/login ID after the next login."

In the statement, the company also clearly advised the users to set a different password for NNID and Nintendo account and if they find unauthorized login or purchase, they should "conduct an individual investigation and then cancel the purchase."

Hacking activities boosted during Coronavirus lockdown

While the Coronavirus pandemic has forced half of humanity into lockdown, the hackers took this opportunity to conduct cyber-attacks on several organizations. Recently it was reported the cybercriminals targeted Wuhan lab, Gates Foundation and WHO.

However, while the businesses, schools and colleges shut down due to the pandemic, millions of people engage themselves in online gaming. All the e-sports events which usually take place at a pre-decided venue are now being held online from home. Due to such a high number of users using gaming console every day, all of a sudden, hackers take advantage of the situation and breach into users' accounts.