Hacker sentenced to 3 years in prison for developing pirated software for Nintendo Switch

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Gary W. Browser, alleged leader of the hacking group Team Xecutor, has been sentenced to 40 months in prison, in addition to paying a fine of almost $14 million USD. This group specialized in the vein of software to hack Nintendo Switch consoles, allowing users to run third-party software on the console.

At the beginning of the investigation, Bowser faced 11 serious charges, although he has only pleaded guilty to conspiracy to evade security mechanisms in technological devices and traffic in evasion devices. Team Xecutor developed pirated software and emulators for Switch, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox, PlayStation and NES Classic.

The defendant admitted to working with this group between 2013 and 2020, during which time he managed illegal websites and sold software to hack consoles and devices. In the lawsuit against Team Xecutor, Nintendo claims to have lost more than $65 million USD due to this group.

Nintendo thanked the law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation, which include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (NHS).

The video game company has always tried to take strict action against the illegal use of its products. Previously, Nintendo won a lawsuit against the RomUniverse platform, forcing the website’s administrators to pay $2.1 million USD compensation, plus they had to destroy all the illegal ROMs developed.

More recently, Nintendo began sending out copyright warnings against the GilvaSunner YouTube channel for its Nintendo soundtrack videos, which will likely lead to the channel’s definitive shutdown. 

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.