Nintendo's Switch, as many of its past consoles, has been heavily targeted by the hacking community's efforts. This recently led to the discovery of a bug that reportedly can't be fixed via software updates, potentially opening the doors to many exploits on the console.
The company has always attempted to fend off these hacks, though typically without much success. This time around, Nintendo could be looking at much more serious methods, as it has been reported that it may be blocking certain game cards from accessing its online services. The restriction is reportedly applied if it's been detected that the card in question was used for piracy.
This is allegedly being done thanks to unique identification numbers which are assigned to every Switch game card. When a hacker uses one such card to dump the ROM to separate storage media and shares it online, the company can trace back those copies to the original game card, which is then prevented from accessing the online features of the console.
A big drawback of this approach is that one of these hackers could, in theory, buy a game card for piracy-related purposes, then resell it to an unsuspecting buyer who might be unaware of what the seller has done.
But those reports go further, as using a banned game card is also said to result in the console as a whole being unable to access the internet, including services such as the eShop. This could result in even greater damage for potentially innocent buyers of second-hand games.
For now, the reports haven't been officially confirmed, so there's no telling exactly what policies the company is enforcing in this regard. Still, those who often buy used games ought to be more careful when purchasing said games for the Switch, at least until we have a clearer picture of the situation.