Ryan Hernandez, a notorious hacker known for leaking Nintendo Switch information before its release, faces three years in prison for child pornography possession and computer hacking scheme.
US Department of Justice released an official statement last Tuesday (12/1) confirming the news, saying that the 21-year-old is guilty of stealing "prorietary information from Nintendo" and "downloading and possessing images of child rape and abuse."
Additionally, the defendant is also subject to a fine worth a whopping $260,000 to replace "the remediation costs caused by his conduct." Hernandez, now a registered sex offender, pleaded guilty in January 2020, and this month's hearing could end with seven years of supervision following his prison release.
Hernandez's lawyer declined to make a statement.
Ryan Hernandez is no stranger to the hacking community, as he previously used the moniker "RyanRocks" during his runaway.
According to the statement, teenage Hernandez and a close friend exploited a Nintendo employee by phishing in 2016 to gather some pre-release information about the long-anticipated Nintendo Switch and its games. Hernandez, who was still minor at that time, leaked the info to the public.
A year later, an FBI agent knocked on his door in his California home, where he still lived with his parents. He promised to understand the consequence that may backfire against him if he ever leaks out another information.
However, it wasn't until 2018 when Hernandez came back to the hacking scheme. Even worse, Hernandez seemed to be proud of his malicious wrongdoings by boasting about it on social media like Twitter and Discord. He hosted an online forum called 'Ryan Underground Hangout' where he discussed his findings.
As the FBI raided his home in California, several new shreds of evidence surfaced. FBI forensics swiftly conducted an investigation and found "more than one thousand videos and images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct" in his possession.
Not the Only Major Hack
Ryan Hernandez is one of a plethora of security problems that have been facing Nintendo recently.
As The Verge reported, thousands of usernames and passwords had been harvested in 2018 by malicious 24-year-old security researcher Zammis Clark, also known online as Slipstream or Raylee.
Clark stole a total of 43,000 files. He uploaded malware onto Microsoft's network and gained access through Virtual Private Network (VPNs), and the damage he caused stands between $913,000 to $1.8 million.
Earlier this year, Nintendo's most significant data breach, also known as Gigaleak, revealed four sets of information about Nintendo's confidential information on the 4chan forum.
Although the same person does not carry these three attacks, Nintendo has to step up its game to avoid further leaks and data breaches.