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Nintendo Hacker Heading To Prison

A 21-year-old California man has been sentenced to three years in prison by the U.S. District Court in Seattle for hacking into Nintendo servers and leaking confidential information, as well as for possession of child pornography. Ryan Hernandez, known online as RyanRocks, is expected to pay upwards of $259,000 in damages to Nintendo.

As TheGamer reported, a press release from The U.S. Department of Justice revealed that Hermandez stole a Nintendo employee's credentials through phishing and accessed confidential information regarding the Nintendo Switch prior to its release. That information was leaked on social media platforms between 2016 and 2017. Because Hernandez was a minor at the time, the FBI contacted his parents after an investigation. The man promised to stop the illegal activity, but it was later found that he continued hacking into multiple Nintendo servers, where he took confidential information about video games, consoles, and developer tools between 2018 and 2019.

The FBI searched Hernandez's home in June 2019 and found devices containing the stolen information. Additionally, a folder named "Bad Stuff" was discovered to contain thousands of illegal photos and videos. Hernandez will spend three years at a Bureau of Prisons facility for inmates with cognitive difficulties, followed by seven years of supervised release.

Unfortunately, Nintendo has plenty more hacking horror stories beyond Hernandez's leaks. Back in April of this year, Nintendo fans reported multiple incidents of their accounts getting breached. "I had 7 people from 7 different countries log into my account yesterday," one person wrote on Twitter. At the time, Nintendo said that they were aware of the issue and conducting an investigation, which didn't sit right with Nintendo account holders who felt the company wasn't doing enough.

The hacking seemed to decrease in the months following and it seemed the issue was resolved. Nintendo had previously reported around 160,000 accounts breached during the incident. However, a post from Nintendo's Japanese customer service site later stated in June that the number reached around 300,000 hacked Nintendo accounts.

The gaming industry as a whole has seen a ton of hacking incidents this year, both in specific games and in big-name companies. Most recently, Capcom fell victim to a large-scale hack that compromised the information of nine employees, as well as company finances and sales reports. Call of Duty: Warzone's servers have also been littered with hacking cheaters this year, as was also the case for Red Dead Online back in August.