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August 26, 2019
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Security researcher pleads guilty to hacking into Nintendo and Microsoft

Security researcher pleads guilty to hacking into Nintendo and Microsoft

March 29, 2019 | By Emma Kidwell

24 year old security researcher Zammis Clark avoided jail time by pleading guilty to hacking into Microsoft and Nintendo servers and stealing confidential information.

This case serves as an important reminder for developers and publishers that no company is truly immune to being hacked, and should take proper precautions to protect their data. 

As reported by The Verge, Clark was charged on multiple counts of computer misuse offenses in a London Crown Court on Thursday. 

He was a former employee at the anti-malware company Malwarebytes and was also involved in the Vtech data breach from 2015.

Clark originally gained access to Microsoft's servers back in January 2017 and was subsequently arrested in June of the same year after he uploaded malware to the company's network.

He was bailed shortly after without any restrictions on computer use, and went on to hack Nintendo's internal network in March 2018.

Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and similar software to gain access to game development servers at Nintendo, Clarke was able to access development code for unreleased games.

During this period, he 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 estimated its own damages to be around the $2 million. 

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.

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