FBI catches hacker who stole Nintendo secrets for years

FBI catches hacker who stole Nintendo secrets for years

Ryan S. Hernandez, who accessed RyanRocks online, worked with an unidentified associate for phishing the login credentials of Nintendo's own server employees.

According to an indictment filed with the federal court in Washington state in December. Hernandez used this unauthorized access to "download thousands of files, including proprietary developer tools and non-public information" about Nintendo's upcoming products and "access pirated and unreleased video games".

That information (and discussion of the vulnerabilities of Nintendo's internal servers) was leaked to the public via Twitter, Discord and a chat room called "Ryan's Underground Hangout", prosecutors said.

At one point, "RyanRocks" caught the eye of Nintendo's hacking community for allegedly leaking a Nintendo Software Development Kit that contained a hidden piece of malware from the Remote Access Tool.

FBI agents confronted Hernandez about his hackers in 2017, according to a press release from the prosecution, and secured Hernandez's promise "to stop any malicious activity".

However, the hackers continued in 2018 and 2019, according to the indictment, until an FBI operation in June 2019 that obtained hard drives with thousands of Nintendo-owned files. The seized hard drives also included sexually explicit images of minors in a folder called "BAD STUFF", according to prosecutors.

Hernandez agreed to pay nearly $ 260,000 to Nintendo as part of a deal. Prosecutors recommend a three-year prison sentence for Hernandez's crimes when the sentence is decided in April 2020.

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