Hacker that Stole Nintendo Secrets Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

A hacker who stole secrets from Nintendo has been sentenced to prison for three years.

The hacker is the 21-year-old Californian man named Ryan S. Hernandez, who is also known as Ryan West. He used the online name RyanRocks. The United States Department of Justice announced that he has been sentenced to three years in prison this week in the US District Court in Seattle. He did crime related to hacking and possession of child pornography.

Way back in 2016, this hacker and one associate of his used phishing techniques to steal the credentials of a Nintendo employee. They then used those to gain access to the Nintendo server and steal confidential files. These files included items related to the Nintendo Switch and then it got leaked to the public.

Hernandez was quickly found out as the FBI investigated the case. He and his family were contacted at their home in California in October 2017. At that time, he swore that he would stop hacking, but there was evidence that later at June 2018 to June 2019, he did it again. He hacked into multiple Nintendo servers and stole more confidential files related to consoles, games, and developer tools. He also boasted this online on social media platforms like Discord and Twitter and shared it with others.

DOJ revealed that Hernandez was the administrator of a forum called Ryan’s Underground Hangout where he shared Nintendo information and shared data about network weaknesses and more.

This prompted the FBI to take action and by June 2019, they searched the Hernandez household and seized all electronic devices where they found thousands of stolen Nintendo files. They also found a folder that contained over 1000 videos and images of child pornography.

The hacker pleaded guilty during the trial in January 2020. US District Judge John C. Coughenour recommended Hernandez to be incarcerated at a Bureau of Prison facility for inmates with cognitive challenges. He ordered that he will be placed on seven years of supervised release after prison. Hernandez will also be registered as a sex offender. He also agreed to pay $259,323 in restitution to Nintendo.

Source: The United States Department of Justice via Eurogamer