The infamous Nintendo hacker Gary Bowser has been sentenced to 40 months in prison for illegally selling hacking kits on the internet. Bowser’s lengthy legal troubles began in 2020 when the gaming giant initiated its pursuit of groups hacking Nintendo Switch consoles. In its attempt to cut down on piracy and prevent future software breaches, Nintendo filed a pair of lawsuits against the hacking groups UberChips and Team Xecuter. Nintendo’s 2020 lawsuits sought up to $2,500 for each trafficking violation and the dismantling of the hacking syndicates.
The lawsuit aimed at Ohio resident Tom Dilts Jr.’s piracy website “UberChips” culminated in a $2 million settlement in September 2020. Months later, Nintendo set its sights on Team Xecutor member Gary Bowser, who helped run the international pirate ring that had been distributing Nintendo Switch hacking devices. The lawsuit claimed that Bowser, who had been previously arrested for fraud, had been hacking Nintendo consoles for over seven years. During his career, Bowser helped hack over 79 million devices, including Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, and Switch Lite consoles. Bowser’s escapades enabled the piracy of millions of games, costing Nintendo a lot in potential profits. In November 2021, Gary Bowser pleaded guilty to Nintendo’s lawsuit and was forced to pay up to $4.5 million in restitution and fines. It was previously reported that Bowser would receive up to 50 months in prison.
In a press release (via Business Wire), it was announced that Nintendo hacker Gary Bowser was sentenced to 40 months in prison, a ten-month reduction to the previously anticipated punishment. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington instituted Bowser’s 40-month sentence, claiming he led Team Xecutor’s criminal enterprise and commanded its creation and selling of console-hacking software. In its statement, Nintendo thanked the “tireless efforts of federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to curb illegal activities on a global scale that cause serious harm to Nintendo and the video game industry.”
In a similar case, Nintendo hacker Ryan Hernandez was previously sentenced to three years (36 months) in prison for his hacking schemes and possession of child pornography. Hernandez – who aided the theft of high-level credentials of a Nintendo employee – continued his exploits after releasing pertinent Nintendo information and was forced to pay $259,323 in restitution to Nintendo. Given the severity of Hernandez’s crimes and his mere three-month punishment, Gary Bowser’s 40-month sentence is surprising. Perhaps his punishment is the culmination of expanded legal efforts to curb hacking, especially given the prevalence of hacking groups and their effect on the gaming industry.
Hacking continues to be an ever-expanding issue given the rise of digital information and the growth of the video game industry. With sensitive information and personal data being stolen and the continued piracy of video games, hacking disrupts large companies and small developers, as well as the consumers enjoying the products.
Next: EA Hackers Are Releasing Stolen Data To Extort Ransom Pay
Source: Business Wire
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