Just lately, every day seems to bring more troubling stories of hacking issues on Switch; already this week we've seen Splatoon 2 players being forced to play with unreleased content by game hackers, as well as some rather bold movements from Nintendo itself to combat attempted piracy. This particular story is by far the most disturbing and upsetting so far, however.
As you will no doubt be aware if you own a Switch yourself, there are a limited amount of display pictures that you can choose from to set as your user profile picture. Ranging from Mii characters to Nintendo favourites like Mario and Link, these pictures are mostly just for your own profile purposes, but in some cases - such as in Super Mario Odyssey's Luigi's Balloon World game - they can also appear in-game.
Hackers have now found a way to use any custom image as a profile picture, therefore being able to display any imagery they like within Super Mario Odyssey itself. When you find another player's balloon, that user's display profile is very clearly visible and, sadly, hackers are taking advantage of this to display adult-themed imagery in the game.
Multiple users on Reddit (mostly parents) have been posting about the dangers of this with others, with one user stating that "there are multiple of these balloons all being made by the same user. This is obviously intentional, and made to upset children". It certainly is an awful manipulation of the system, and one that could cause upset for those innocently playing the game as intended. Super Mario Odyssey is rated as being safe for users aged 7 and up by PEGI, and as 'Everyone 10+' by ESRB, and parents should be safe in the knowledge that their children won't be subjected to such material.
As we've seen with other cases, we imagine Nintendo will be aiming to combat this as soon as possible. Hopefully something can be done swiftly to remove the offending content and prevent it from happening again in the future.