Hackers defaced Nintendo Europe and nine of its German websites on Sunday as part of an attack that gained access to 300 websites with either German or top level domain extensions.
Posting the message "security is a complete myth on the internet" on ten separate websites run by the video games giant, the hackers, calling themselves the BL4F Crew, also ranted against 'script kiddie' hackers who use known exploits without a proper understanding of how they work. "No ethics. No skills. No message", the message to those groups read.
As of 11am GMT, visitors to Nintendo-europe.com still received a message that the website was offline. Other websites defaced, with profane messages, included nintendo.de, donkey-kong.com, pokemon.de, zelda.de, banjo-kazooie.de, diddy-kong-racing.de, lylatwars.de, raptor.de, yoshi.de, mario-tennis.de.
However, a Nintendo spokeswoman said on Monday afternoon that the website downtime is due to an "unidentified technical problem with the remote web host" and has insisted that "there is no clear indication of a malicious attack".
The spokeswoman declined to comment further when informed that copies of the defacements had been archived on the web here. She did say the firm hoped to have the affected websites back online "shortly".
Paul Rogers, a network security anlayst with MIS-CDS, commented: "Nintendo's PR department certainly has an interesting way with words. It's now 16:50 German local time, and I've got nintendo.de loaded in my web browser and it's still defaced."
The same BL4F Crew has defaced fifteen websites running Linux operating systems since the turn of the year, including websites owned by electronics giant Toshiba, a UK IT consultany, DPNet, and one at worldfootball.org.
Experts said that Sunday's most likely line of attack was through the BIND exploit, published at the end of January.
Rogers said: "For a mass attack of this kind, the most likely way in is through the domain name server. They're running the very latest patch of BIND, which suggests it may have been patched since the attack."
"The hacking community has kept BIND exploits pretty close to their chest," he added, "which would suggest that this group is well connected."
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago