A FORMER SECURITY RESEARCHER for Malwarebytes has pleaded guilty to hacking both Microsoft and Nintendo.
Zammis Clark faced multiple counts of computer misuse at London Crown Court and pleaded guilty to the hacks that Microsoft and Nintendo claim cost them $2m and up to $1.8m, respectively.
Clark, 24, was originally arrested in June 2017 for the hack on Microsoft's network which saw some 43,000 files stolen. When on bail for that, he targeted Nintendo's internal network last May, snooping on the servers with development code for unreleased games. He stole 2,365 usernames and passwords in the process.
Despite the seriousness of the crimes and the subsequent guilty plea, Clark is not facing a prison sentence. The Verge reports that the judge was apparently moved by an appeal from Clark's parents, who highlighted their son's autism and face blindness, along with their plan to assist his rehabilitation, which includes the mother resigning her day job to supervise his recovery.
"Everything I have heard and been told leads me to believe this is a young man who would suffer disproportionality if he went to prison," Judge Alexander Milne said in his summary. "The heartbreak, and I can only see it as heartbreak for his parents, comes across loud and clear. They are to be commended."
Instead, Clark was handed a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. That means that as long as doesn't reoffend, he won't face jail time. He was also hit with a Serious Crime Prevention Order for five years, which has an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison if breached.
Also appearing in the dock was 26-year-old Thomas Hounsell, who used to run the BuildFeed website. He used Clark's hack to search Microsoft's servers more than 1,000 times in a 17-day period. He was handed a six-month prison sentence, also suspended for 18 months, along with 100 hours' community service.
"I am trusting this will be a lesson from which you will all learn," Judge Milne concluded. µ
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