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21-Year-Old Pleads Guilty To Hacking Nintendo And Stealing Information

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A 21-year-old Californian pled guilty to hacking Nintendo’s servers to steal confidential information. This includes stealing information about the Nintendo Switch months before its announcement.


According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Ryan Hernandez, 21, and an associate gained access to steal confidential information from Nintendo by phishing a Nintendo employee in 2016. The FBI contacted Hernandez and his parents to ask him to stop hacking,  In October 2017. Hernandez at the time “confirmed that he understood the consequences of any future hacking.”


However, from around June 2018 to June 2019, he continued to illegally access confidential information. According to the DOJ, he broke into “multiple Nintendo servers” to steal more confidential corporate information


NIntendo hacking
Ryan Hernandez aka  ‘Ryan West’ or ‘RyanRocks’ stole information on Nintendo switch before its launch
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Hernandez then went on twitter to boast of his hacking on Twitter. He also continued his boasting on Discord, and his own chat forum called “Ryan’s Underground Hangout.” On his forum, he would discuss Nintendo products, including discussing some of the confidential information he had found from his hacking. He’d also share vulnerabilities in Nintendo’s network, according to the DOJ.

Files from the Nintendo hacking was found in his home

The FBI carried out a raid on Hernandez’s home in June 2019, uncovering “thousands of confidential Nintendo files.” They also found images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct that stored and sorted in a folder directory labeled as “Bad Stuff.” Hence, he was additionally charged with possession of child p*********y.


The DOJ says he already agreed to pay $259,323 in restitution to Nintendo as part of a plea bargain. Also, Hernandez’s full sentence could be up to five years in prison for hacking and up to 20 years in prison for possessing child p*********y. A judge will hand down his sentence at a later date.


Nintendo is yet to release a statement on the issue.


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