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Nintendo Hacker Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

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Nintendo Hacker Sentenced

The United States Department of Justice published news that it sentenced Nintendo hacker Ryan “RyanRocks” Hernandez to three years in prison. The defendant was also sentenced for “downloading and possessing images of child rape and abuse.” The defendant will also face seven years of supervised release following the prison sentence.

This case stems from back in 2016, when the then-minor Hernandez used a phishing technique to steal employee credentials. The Nintendo hacker gained access to confidential company files related to its games and consoles, including the Nintendo Switch, which he later leaked to the public.

FBI agents investigated and contacted Hernandez in October 2017. He promised to stop any further activity and said he understood the consequences of his actions. However, from June 2018 to June 2019, Hernandez continued to hack into Nintendo’s servers and steal further information. He reportedly boasted on social media services, such as Discord and Twitter. The Nintendo hacker even had an online forum called “Ryan’s Underground Hangout,” where he shared information and possible company network vulnerabilities.

In June 2019, FBI agents searched Hernandez’s home and seized electronic devices containing thousands of confidential files and more than one thousand videos and images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

This is one of several legal proceedings in the United States in which Nintendo is cracking down on hackers. As recently as October 2020, two members of Team Xecuter were arrested, as well.

Ryan Hernandez pleaded guilty to both counts. He was sentenced to three years in prison and also agreed to pay $259,323 in restitution to Nintendo.

Oni Dino
Oni Dino is a Japanese-English translator, localization editor, and podcaster. He has several video game credits and regularly translates columns from Masahiro Sakurai and Shigeru Miyamoto. When not knee-deep in a JRPG and wishing games had more environmental story-telling, he's attending industry events and interviewing creative auteurs to share their stories.