Nintendo of Japan has issued a warning against using the Nintendo Wi-Fi, and Nintendo Network Adapter, because of safety reasons.
Along with the tweet, Nintendo Japan also released a statement on their website.
“We have discontinued the use of the network devices “Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector (NTR-010)” and “Nintendo Wi-Fi Network Adapter (WAP-001)” released in 2005 and 2008 from the viewpoint of security protection. Please switch to a commercially available network device”, it states via Google Translate.
The company iterates that the Wi-Fi Connector and the Wi-Fi Network Adapter, both used WEP, which is an early security protocol for Wi-Fi. The Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), is easily exploitable by others, making it outdated and unsafe to use.
The Wi-fi Network Adaptor also had a bug where it’s susceptible to malware.
“If you continue to use these devices, there is a risk of unauthorized access from the outside or infection of the connected terminal with a computer virus. For security protection, we ask that customers who are currently using the product stop using it immediately and switch to a commercially available network device.”
Wi-Fi In Your Home Wasn’t Common In 2005
The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connector, released in 2005, and the Wi-Fi Networking Adapter, released only in Japan in 2008, allowed those with a Nintendo DS or a Nintendo Wii, to establish a Wi-Fi connection via their broadband-connected PC.
Both were available at a time when wi-fi wasn’t common in many households. By using the Wi-Fi Connector or the Wi-fi Network Adapter, you could get your consoles online to purchase games, download updates or play against others online.
I still have my Nintendo Wi-Fi Connector amongst my DS games and accessories and used it to get my original DS online to play Mario Kart and Animal Crossing: Wild World with others.
Though I have no need for it now, I keep it as a relic of fond memories of the time when my life was centred around the original dual-screen handheld.
Wi-Fi in the home is incredibly common now, although some of us may still be using the adapters to get our older hardware access to online services. If you do, please take Nintendo’s warnings seriously and think about switching to a more secure network.
Featured Image Credit: Nintendo. Source: Nintendo.