Switch Leaker Pleads Guilty to Hacking Nintendo Servers

He Could Be Facing up to 25 Years in Prison

A California man named Ryan Hernandez has pleaded guilty today to hacking Nintendo Servers and other charges. According to the US Department of Justice, Hernandez hacked into Nintendo in 2016, back when he was a minor, through phishing. He was able to gain access to early information about the Nintendo Switch and other upcoming titles, which he then leaked online. In 2017 an FBI investigation led to Hernandez being contacted by the organization in his parent’s house. There, he promised to stop any illegal activities and also acknowledged the consequences were he to continue hacking.

Nintendo switch

Of course, as you know from the title, Hernandez did not stop hacking Nintendo servers.  Even more stupidly, he openly talked about his exploits on Twitter and Discord, and ran a forum called “Ryan’s Underground Hangout” where he continued to leak private information. This led to the FBI raiding his house in 2019, where they found thousands of confidential Nintendo Files, pirated video games and software, and other disgusting material that I won’t discuss of here.

Under the plea deal, he has agreed to pay $259,323 in restitution to Nintendo, and the prosecution will recommend three years in prison. The final verdict will be up to the judge, and Hernandez could face up to 5 years for the hacking and 20 years for his other crimes. If you’d like to read the details you can check out the DOJ statement here.