Ryan S. Hernandez Nintendo hacker Switch hacking child porn sentencing $259K restitution

Ryan S. Hernandez, also known as Ryan West, is not having a good time in life. On Friday, Jan. 31, the 21-year-old Palmdale, CA man pleaded guilty to a hacking scheme involving Nintendo servers and also pleaded guilty to possessing a collection of over 1,000 images and videos of child pornography.

A hacker who leaked Nintendo Switch details is paying up

Prosecutors and defense attorneys recommend a three-year prison sentencing for Hernandez, but it is ultimately up to the judge’s discretion. The hacking charge alone allows for up to five years in prison, and the child pornography charge allows for up to 20 years. Hernandez will pay $259,323 in restitution to Nintendo “for the remediation costs caused by his conduct,” and per his plea deal, he will register as a sex offender following conviction.

This incident all began in 2016, when Hernandez — then a minor — engaged in a phishing scheme with an associate to acquire a Nintendo employee’s credentials, which were then used to access Nintendo servers and obtain confidential information unknown to the public, including details of not-yet-launched Nintendo Switch. This stolen information was subsequently leaked online. The FBI contacted Hernandez and his parents in October 2017 about the hack, and Hernandez promised not to engage in any future hacking.

And then he kept hacking Nintendo servers, “from at least June 2018 to June 2019.” He reportedly boasted about his hacking on Twitter and Discord and operated an online forum with the extremely lame name of “Ryan’s Underground Hangout,” where Nintendo vulnerabilities were discussed. In June 2019, the FBI seized his electronics devices, uncovering “thousands of confidential Nintendo files” and the aforementioned child pornography, the latter of which was stored in a folder titled “Bad Stuff.”

This is an open and shut case, but at least Hernandez is being cooperative about his spectacularly poor behavior. In any case, let that be a lesson to you: Don’t hack Nintendo, and for Pete’s sake, don’t be a scary pervert.

[Source/Via]

John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!

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