Nintendo Switch hacker sentenced to three years in prison

He will also have to pay Nintendo $259,323

Ryan Hernandez, a hacker who stole information from Nintendo about its then-upcoming Switch console, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Hernandez acquired the information through a phishing scam aimed at a Nintendo employee in 2016. The FBI issued a warning that he cease illegal activity, given the sensitive nature of the information. Despite this, Hernandez continued to scam information from the company for a number of years.

A search of his hard drives in 2019 showed that Hernandez was also guilty of storing child pornography and abuse videos, to which he admitted in court. Subsequently, he was registered as a sex offender and given a seven-year supervised release.

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A plea bargain made in January of this year secured three years of prison time for the Nintendo hack, along with a payment of $259,323 (£194,242) to be made to the company. Hernandez is alleged to have broken into “multiple Nintendo servers”, where he found “thousands of confidential files”, according to the official indictment.

Nintendo has been subject to an array of hacks over recent years, most notably the “Gigaleak” that dumped a massive amount of dev assets and source codes into the public consciousness. While much of the information was confidential, presenting an ethical issue for interested parties, some of the more accessible parts can be found online.

In other Nintendo Switch news, a recent quality of life update lets users edit and share screenshots from the console to their smartphone from the console using a QR code. The update also includes advances to cloud gaming, and more freedom over download priorities.

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