Nintendo, a company currently being run by a man named Doug Bowser, has filed a lawsuit against a hacker named Gary Bowser. Nintendo claims Bowser (the hacker, not the Nintendo president or Mario’s long-time nemesis) has infringed on company copyright by creating and selling hacking devices for Nintendo products.
The devices in question are reportedly designed to bypass Nintendo security measures on the Switch so players are able to install and run pirated games downloaded online.
Hacking group Team Xecuter is allegedly behind the creation of these hacks, which Nintendo describe as being part of an “international pirate ring”. Several resellers were taken to court in early 2020, but this hasn’t stopped the devices from being sold.
Gary Bowser is alleged to have created and distributed Nintendo hacks for both the Switch and 3DS since 2013, with the lawsuit identifying a long history of modifying Nintendo products.
Currently, the company is seeking damages upwards of $150,000 per each copyright violation in addition to $2,500 for each hacked Switch sold.
The lawsuit sends a powerful message to the hackers that Nintendo is done playing around. It’s just the latest in a long line of legal cases filed by the company as they attempt to crack down on illegal modifications to its products.
Part of this crackdown is likely to do with protecting Nintendo’s image as a kid-friendly brand, but the existence of hacks also highlights major issues for the Switch.
While the console hacks currently being sold are for the alleged purpose of installing pirated games only, the device reveals major security flaws in the Switch’s software.
Due to the nature of online gaming and the connectedness of the console, there’s potential malicious software could be spread by these hacks.
Given the importance of staying secure online (and just how important being online has become), it is likely Nintendo is pursuing the lawsuit as a means to protect its user base from harmful software as well as to protect itsintellectual property.
While the lawsuit sends a clear message, it remains to be seen how Team Xecuter will react. Over the last year, the group has become bolder with their hacks, and gained an impressive stature in the hacking community.
We’ll hear more about this case over the next few months.
You can view the full lawsuit document below, courtesy of Polygon: