​Man Pleads Guilty To Hacking Private Microsoft And Nintendo Servers

In London Crown Court on Thursday, 24-year-old Zammis Clark pleaded guilty to hacking into private servers and stealing confidential information from Microsoft and Nintendo. The companies estimate combined damages of $3.8 million.

Clark managed to access Microsoft's servers in January 2017 using an internal username and password, creating a backdoor that allowed him to continue visiting the network for the next month.

Once in the servers, Clark proceeded to steal more than 40,000 files containing pre-release versions of windows. He also shared his access with other people in a private chatroom, who also accessed the servers and stole files. The police response to the hack involved Microsoft's cybersecurity team, the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit, the FBI, and EUROPOL as the hackers Clark shared his access with were based in countries outside of the UK.

Clark was arrested for the hack in June 2017 but was released on bail.

Even Mario was shocked
Even Mario was shocked

In March 2018 Clark then hacked Nintendo's game development servers, where he was able to access unreleased games and usernames and passwords. Nintendo discovered the breach a few months later in May, and police were able to trace it back to Clark.

The judge sentence Clark to 15 months jail time but on a suspended sentence of 18 months, so he will only serve that time if he is found guilty of another crime. Though, Clark is also under a Serious Crime Order, which means if he breaches the terms of that order, he could face five years in prison and an unlimited fine.

"Today's action by the Courts in the UK represents an important step," CVP of customer security and trust at Microsoft Tom Burt told The Verge. "Stronger internet security not only requires strong technical capability but the willingness to acknowledge issues publicly and refer them to law enforcement. No company is immune from cybercrime. No customer data was accessed, and we're confident in the integrity of our software and systems. We have comprehensive measures in place to prevent, detect, and respond to attacks."

You've got to wonder, what games did Clark see in those Nintendo servers?

Julian Benson

Senior journalist at GAMINGbible. Former deputy editor of PCGamesN and news editor of Kotaku UK. Written for Eurogamer, PC Gamer, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Wired, and GamesMaster. Author of 'Rags, Bones and Tea Leaves'. Contact: [email protected]

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