The gaming giant Nintendo announced that hackers gained accessed at least 160,000 user accounts as part of an account hijacking campaign since early April.
The company launched an investigation after it has received several complaints from its users.
“This time, using a login ID and password information obtained illegally by some means other than our service, a phenomenon that seems to have been made by impersonating the “Nintendo Network ID (* 1, NNID)” from around the beginning of April We have confirmed that it is occurring.” reads a report published by the company. “We also confirmed that there was an illegal login to some “Nintendo accounts” via NNID using this impersonation login.”
The company discovered that the accounts belonging to many users were abused to purchase features and virtual coins in popular games, including Fortnite V-Bucks, using the funds in the connected PayPal account.
“The account hijackings appear to have started mid-March and have reached a peak over the weekend when more and more users started receiving email alerts that unknown IP addresses have been seen accessing their profiles.” reported ZDNet.
“The way accounts are getting hacked is currently unknown. It is unclear if hackers are using passwords leaked in data breaches at other sites to also gain access to the accounts.”
Initially, experts speculated that hackers have launched a credential stuffing attack using data from past data breaches, but this circumstance is excluded by some users that reported using strong passwords that were not shared with other web services.
Now the gaming company confirmed that hackers did no carry a credential stuffing attack, instead, they abused the NNID) integration.
The Nintendo Network ID (NNID) is a legacy login system, it allows users to manage Nintendo accounts on Wii U or Nintendo 3DS.
The company did not disclose the details of the account hijacking attacks, to mitigate the incident the company disconnected the NNID legacy login system from main Nintendo profiles.
“Therefore, we are announcing today that we have abolished the function of logging in to a Nintendo account via NNID.” continues the announcement. “In addition, passwords will be reset sequentially for NNIDs and Nintendo accounts that may have been illegally logged in .”
The company is notifying the impacted users and it is forcing password resets on the main and NNID accounts, it is also urging them to adopt different passwords for each account. The gaming giant is also suggesting users to enable 2FA for their accounts.
According to the company, hackers might have gained access to other account information, including nicknames, dates of birth, countries of origin, regions, and email addresses.
“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused and concern to our customers and related parties,” the company said. “In the future, we will make further efforts to strengthen security and ensure safety so that similar events do not occur.” concluded the company.
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(SecurityAffairs – hacking)