Ryan Hernandez Pleads Guilty After Multiple Nintendo Hacks And Possessing Child Porn, As Per Reports

Living in Palmdale, California, Ryan Hernandez has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to federal crimes related to his “Nintendo hacking scheme” and his possession of over “one thousand videos and images” of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. As of right now, Hernandez is reported to go to prison.

According to both nintendoeverything.com and justice.gov, we learn that Ryan S. Hernandez, Ryan West, or “RyanRocks462” has pleaded guilty to a piece of two-count information. The latter report notes that Hernandez is scheduled for sentencing by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on April 21st, 2020.

With that said, here’s the official Department of Justice write-up on Hernandez’s case:

“[…] in 2016, while still a minor, HERNANDEZ and an associate used a phishing technique to steal credentials of a Nintendo employee, which were exploited to gain access to and download confidential Nintendo files related to its consoles and games. That stolen information, including pre-release information about the anticipated Nintendo Switch console, was leaked to the public. In October 2017, following an investigation into the hack, FBI agents contacted HERNANDEZ and his parents at their California residence. HERNANDEZ promised to stop any further malicious activity and confirmed that he understood the consequences of any future hacking.

 

Nevertheless, from at least June 2018 to June 2019, HERNANDEZ returned to his malicious activities, hacking into multiple Nintendo servers and stealing confidential information about various popular video games, gaming consoles, and developer tools. HERNANDEZ boasted about his hacking exploits on several online and social media platforms, such as Twitter and Discord, and leaked some of the stolen information to others. HERNANDEZ further operated an online chat forum called “Ryan’s Underground Hangout” in which he and others discussed Nintendo products and shared information about possible Nintendo network vulnerabilities, and on which he shared some of the confidential information he had stolen.

 

In June 2019, FBI agents searched HERNANDEZ’s home and seized numerous electronic devices, including computers, hard drives, and circumvention devices used to access pirated video games and software. On those devices, they discovered thousands of confidential Nintendo files. Forensic analysis of his devices also revealed that HERNANDEZ had used the internet to collect more than one thousand videos and images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, stored and sorted in a folder directory he labeled “Bad Stuff.””

In case you don’t want to read through the full blockquote, a summary sees Hernandez at age 17 with an associate “phishing to steal credentials of a Nintendo employee” to leak confidential Nintendo files related to the Switch — which wasn’t out at the time — and its games.

After the Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted Hernandez and his parents at their California residence, the FBI let the boy and his family off with a warning.

Like clockwork, Hernandez is reported to have picked back up between 2018 and 2019, where he “boasted about his hacking exploits” on his now-suspended Twitter account and Discord.

Hernandez also “leaked some of the stolen information to others” through an online chat forum called “Ryan’s Underground Hangout.”

During the mid-part of 2019, FBI agents searched Hernandez’s home and “seized numerous” electronic devices. It is reported that on some of those devices, the FBI discovered thousands of “confidential Nintendo files,” where forensic analysis of his devices also revealed Hernandez possessed a collection of more than “one thousand videos and images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”

Both websites report that Hernandez must pay $259,323 in restitution to Nintendo. Also, he must serve either three or five years in prison depending on what the judge makes of his “computer fraud and abuse,” which is accompanied by 20 years in prison for “possession of child pornography.”

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