Nintendo and Microsoft are once again making headlines together, but this time around it's not exactly what you might expect.
24-year-old security researcher Zammis Clark – also known as Slipstream or Raylee online – has pleaded guilty in London's Crown Court to hacking into Nintendo and Microsoft networks. The former Malwarebytes employee, who was also involved in the 2015 Vtech data breach, "narrowly" avoided jail time after he was charged with multiple counts of computer misuse offenses for stealing confidential information from the two companies.
Clark originally gained access to Microsoft's servers in January 2017 and was arrested in June of the same year after he uploaded malware to the company's network. Following this, he was bailed without any restrictions on computer use and took the opportunity to then hack Nintendo's internal network in March 2018.
He used Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and similar software to gain access to game development servers at Nintendo, containing development code for unreleased games. During this period, Clark was able to obtain 2,365 usernames and passwords, until Nintendo found out its servers had been hacked a few months later in May.
The estimated costs of damages to Nintendo range between £700,000 ($913,000) and £1.4 million ($1.8 million) and Microsoft believes its own damages are somewhere around the $2 million mark. Clark was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. A Serious Crime Prevention Order has also been granted for five years, carrying an unlimited fine of up to five years of jail time if breached.