Normally when we hear early details about new consoles or video games, it is just a case of word of mouth within the industry spilling out on to the web. In some instances though, more illicit means are used to gather information, as is the case with one California resident this week, who has been charged with hacking Nintendo’s systems.
Ryan Hernandez pleaded guilty to charges on Friday relating to a 2016 phishing scheme, through which he was able to gain access to Nintendo’s servers. As reported by Polygon, after gaining access to Nintendo’s systems, Hernandez was able to download confidential files with information about the Nintendo Switch and upcoming games.
At just 16 years old at the time, Hernandez was let off the hook under the proviso that he would stop hacking. However, in June 2018 to June 2019, he apparently started again, stealing confidential information and even developer tools. Prosecutors claim that Hernandez would brag about his actions on Discord and Twitter.
In a dark turn, hacking Nintendo isn’t the only thing that he pleaded guilty too, he also plead guilty to child pornography charges. As part of a plea agreement, he will have to pay $260,000 to Nintendo, register as a sex offender and face time in prison.
KitGuru Says: When the hype train is rolling, it can be easy to forget to think about how information was obtained in the first place. In this case, we know that some Nintendo leaks in the last three years have been the result of illegal actions, not just industry chatter. Hernandez has not been sentenced yet but a judge will rule on that in April.