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Nintendo Left Gamers Vulnerable Long Before Shocking Data Breach

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:53 PM
William Worrall
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:53 PM
  • It seems like Nintendo may have suffered a severe data breach lately.
  • 160,000 accounts appear to have been illicitly accessed since the start of April.
  • This latest breach shows that companies need to make some changes to the way their online services work.

Nintendo has suffered a pretty serious security breach, exposing user privacy.  Around 160,000 accounts have been accessed since the beginning of April. While credit card information is supposedly safe, everything else from birthday’s to addresses has been accessible to the hackers.

Nintendo is being tight-lipped about the nature of the attack to keep users safe. But, they are now recommending that everyone immediately enables 2-factor authentication. Worse breaches have happened to others in the past. But, Nintendo needs to make some changes to the way NSO works .

Nintendo - Data Breach Tweet
As soon as the news broke on Twitter Nintendo users were warning each other to make their accounts more secure. | Source: Twitter 

Nintendo’s Online Service Is Inconvenient During a Data Breach

While there are many minor gripes you could make about the way that Nintendo handles online services, they are at the very least functional. It’s a pretty simple affair for any user to create an account and buy games for their console.

The problem is that there are a few features missing from Nintendo Switch Online. Normally such features wouldn’t be all that important. But, during a data breach, they’re suddenly sorely missed.

For one thing, there is no purchase history available on the console itself. There’s a redownload list, but that doesn’t show any of the purchases made in-game. It just shows all of the software that you don’t currently have installed on the system.


It’s Not Just Limited to the One System

This data breach has thrown other system’s issues into the spotlight as well. All 3 systems currently lack a way to monitor account log-ins on the actual system itself. Not just the Nintendo Switch, but all of the current and next-gen system should have this option.

Nintendo’s online service is severely lacking in monitoring options. | Source: Shutterstock

You can check your log-in activity on a browser, or via automated e-mails, but that’s clearly not good enough. These hacks were going on since April, but password resets only started happening very recently. If consoles like the Nintendo Switch threw up a notification when someone else logged into the account, more people would have been safe.

This isn’t just a problem for Nintendo. As our online accounts become more valuable, the security needs to improve. Simple, on-console features are all that we need to help secure our data. If Nintendo and others don’t start adding those features, they’re leaving users vulnerable.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.