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Nintendo finally responds to account breaches

Earlier this week, it was reported that Nintendo customers have been having issues with account security. Multiple customers complained that their accounts had been accessed by unauthorized users, many of whom weren't even located in the same country as them. Others reported that the bank accounts and other payment methods attached to their Nintendo accounts had been used for unauthorized purchases. 

At the time, Nintendo was suspiciously silent regarding the situation. The only hint that the company was aware of the problem came from a post on the Nintendo of America Twitter account reminding customers that they could opt in for two-factor verification for their account access. This allows customers a bit of extra security on their accounts. Still, it wasn't exactly the proactive response that folks may have been hoping for. The question remained whether or not Nintendo of America was looking into the problem in any meaningful way.

Thankfully, Nintendo has finally issued a statement regarding the hacking issues. After reaching out to Nintendo of America for comment, IGN has been told, "We are aware of reports of unauthorized access to some Nintendo Accounts and we are investigating the situation."

According to IGN, this intervention comes not a moment too soon. It appears that similar issues have been occurring for a few weeks at this point. "Some [customers] have shared on social media sites that they've received emails from Nintendo notifying them that someone has attempted to log into their account. Nintendo shares where the login attempts come from and some IGN staffers have reported attempted access from hackers in China and the US," writes IGN's Matt Kim.

The comments on IGN's Twitter post regarding the situation have mostly been from frustrated Nintendo customers who have been affected by these hacks. One person complained that their account had been compromised and someone used their payment information to purchase in-game currency in Fortnite. Though it has been pointed out that Nintendo has a way for customers to dispute fraudulent charges and are usually pretty good about setting it right, it's understandable that people are upset about this being an issue in the first place.

Overall, people seem to be surprised by Nintendo's response. Nintendo of America has reiterated a few times, including in its response to IGN, that customers should enable two-factor verification. Regardless of whether or not they have a form of payment attached to their Nintendo accounts, it has been recommended that customers add that extra layer of protection to their gaming experience. Some customers have claimed they had never even heard of two-factor verification, while others express their dismay that this is happening at all.

One customer seemed pleased that Nintendo of America had finally issued a statement, but also mentioned that they had been trying to communicate with Nintendo about this problem to no avail. They wrote, "Been getting automated emails regarding unauthorized login attempts from Israel for a couple weeks now, even after changing my password twice. Nintendo didn't even respond to my emails nor my phone calls, good to see they at least know about the issue."

Screenshots shared from one user showed multiple unauthorized log-ins from Thailand, China, and Czechia. This led to a theory that many of these hackers are using VPNs to hide their locations. That would explain why the customers who are reporting multiple suspicious log-ins have seen them showing up from different locations all around the world. It would also offer an explanation as to why it has been so difficult for Nintendo to nail down where the hacks are coming from and put a stop to it.

Hackers are certainly an ever-present issue in modern gaming. In fact, hacking has become so expected and unavoidable at this point that many company have taken to offering payment to ethical hackers who can alert them to exploits and loopholes in their security systems. For example, Riot Games has recently offered to pay $100,000 to any hackers who can uncover any weak points in Vanguard, the anti-cheat software developed for tactical shooter Valorant.

It's certainly comforting to know that Nintendo is taking notice and being proactive regarding the hacking issues. Hopefully the cause will be rooted out soon enough and Nintendo customers can get back to catching Pokemon and building their Animal Crossing island, the way they were meant to. In the meantime, it's a good idea to go ahead and go through the two-step verification set-up process. It may take a few minutes, but it could save you a major headache while Nintendo works on getting this fixed.