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Nintendo UK and European sites hacked, prompting phishing alert

In the latest security breach affecting a major company, Nintendo warns that hackers may use stolen information to launch phishing attacks -- so don't talk to strangers.

Nintendo's UK site has been hacked. In the latest security breach affecting a major company, Nintendo warns that hackers may use the stolen information to launch phishing attacks -- so don't talk to strangers, kids.

Nintendo's European websites, including nintendo.co.uk -- and, for some reason, South Africa -- each displayed a warning in the relevant language about phishing. Phishing involves miscreants sending out emails or creating websites claiming to represent trustworthy sources asking for your usernames, passwords or other data.

The warnings read:

"We have learnt of a possible phishing threat to users of the European Nintendo website which we are currently investigating. The protection of our customers is our utmost priority and so we have taken the precaution of immediately shutting down some parts of this website until further notice.

"We would like to reassure you that we do not hold our customer's bank, credit card or address details on the European Nintendo website and so this data is not at risk."

Leaving aside the misplaced apostrophe (we're pretty sure Nintendo has more than one customer), it's good to see the company keeping us informed. Sony took a lot of stick for waiting a week before revealing it had been hacked. US lawmakers are currently planning legislation to make companies reveal details of security breaches.

The recent Sony breach, when the personal and financial details of more than 100 million users of the PlayStation Network and allied services were stolen, seems to have signalled open season for hackers.

Games companies seem to be the target du jour: Nintendo was hacked a couple of weeks ago, and games developers Codemasters, Epic, Bethesda and Square Enix have also been targeted. Some of these hacks are the work of LulzSec, monocled mutineers hacking to show that our personal data is treated in a cavalier fashion by companies such as these.

We wonder if the Sony breach did in fact start this wave of hacks, or if companies are constantly being attacked and the hacks are only now being discussed in the public sphere. We're also wondering how long it'll be before another of the really big names -- such as Apple, Google or Microsoft -- gets taken out.

Who's next to be hacked? Place your bets in the comments or on our maximum-security Facebook wall.