Thousands of videogame console users won’t like this news. Ethical hacking specialists report that the US’s High Court has decided that Internet service providers in British territory should help Nintendo to combat piracy, limiting access to websites of pirated and potentially malicious content.
The authorities, just like the video game developer, hope that this measure will help limit the ability of hackers to distribute pirated versions of such software, as well as assist in the fight against malware distribution through these illegal sites.
“The company is trying to push a new ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy on piracy, taking the case to the court and forcing Internet service providers to help Nintendo,” ethical hacking specialists say. The Nintendo Switch console has become one of the hackers’ favorite targets; whether to download games illegally or to inject malware into the devices of unsuspecting gamers, multiple threat actors have tried to find various ways to breach the security of the portable console.
The High Court ruling, for now only applicable to the top five Internet service providers in the UK, forces companies to take a proactive stance in combating piracy, blocking access to major pirated video game distribution websites.
Although authorities and entertainment software developers are aware that this measure will not solve the problem, it could impact hackers’ piracy distribution capability. The High Court has already resolved the ruling, now it remains for companies (Virgin Media, Talk Talk, EE, Sky Broadband and BT) to implement the necessary actions to comply with the court order.
Ethical hacking specialists mention that this is a clear example of how a major company can influence a country’s legislative agenda to implement measures against malicious users that put their users at risk and, of course, their incomes.
This is not the first time British lawmakers have tried to use Internet service providers in the fight against piracy. In 2017, a bill was passed that conditioned companies to alert via email users of these sites about the potential risks of downloading pirated content. However, this only caused users to turn to websites that were not blacklisted by the British authorities, something that many fear may also happen on this occasion.
Specialists in ethical hacking at the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) claim that, due to its popularity, hackers are constantly working to find vulnerabilities in Nintendo Switch. A clear example is the release of the latest version of the console firmware, which was hacked the same day it was released. The hackers managed to compromise Switch firmware version 7.0.0 just four hours after Nintendo made it available.