Nintendo is not afraid to take legal action against people who hack their platforms or attempt to pirate their games, and this week one of those hackers is going to jail and owes a lot of money to the company.
As the Department of Justice explains, 21-year-old Ryan Hernandez first appeared on the FBI radar back in 2016 when he used phishing tactics with the aid of an associate to steal Nintendo’s credential. These credentials were then used to access sensitive Nintendo data and to steal pre-release information from the Switch console. Hernandez, known online as “RyanRocks,” publicly shared the details.
The hack and theft was traced back to Hernandez in 2017, when the FBI approached him and his parents as a minor. At the time, he vowed to stop “further malicious activity,” but he eventually broke that promise.
From June 2018, he continued “hacking into multiple Nintendo servers and stealing confidential information about various popular video games, gaming consoles, and developer tools.” Some of the hacked data was posted publicly and Hernandez ran an online chat forum called “Ryan’s Underground Hangout” to discuss and exchange information.
In the end, this activity led the FBI to search Hernandez’s house, where they not only found thousands of sensitive Nintendo files, but also used the internet to gather more than 1,000 videos and photographs of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct, stored and sorted in a folder directory called “Evil Things.”
Since pleading guilty, Hernandez was sentenced to three years in jail and agreed to pay Nintendo $259,323 in restitution. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour ordered that he be imprisoned at the prison office for cognitively impaired prisoners.