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2018-2020 Nintendo, Microsoft data breaches

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The 2018, 2019, 2020 Nintendo, Microsoft data breaches (also revealed by both press and unofficial Nintendo websites to be the Zammis Clark/Wack0 leak despite the ethically questionable act of revealing his name) was an important event in Nintendo security, and also refers to a law case in which a British security researcher hacked into Microsoft and Nintendo's servers.

The first two known breaches are the April 2018 breach of the iQue Player software development kit, and unencrypted ROMs, via SUXXORS), and then shortly later in May 2018; arguably one of the more now well known leaks, an anonymous user secretly Wack0 posted the Nintendo Space World demos of Pokémon Gold and Silver on the pret (Pokémon Reverse Engineering Tools) Discord channel with a download limit of 20 downloads; which lead to an infamous discovery of undocumented unreleased species of Pokémon, and much more unused data from the demos, now detailed in depth on The Cutting Room Floor (formally by users of "Team Spaceworld"; a team of various respected experts in that field of grey area Pokémon knowledge, such as IIMarckus; coordinator of the Pokémon disassembly projects, and Sanqui).

Wack0 was arrested for breaching confidential development code, including usernames and passwords, following a previous arrest for "uploaded malware on to Microsoft's network" in June 2017. It is believed that Wack0 leaked some data (yet the full file size of the archives was believed to exceed 2 terabytes), shared it with some of his peers (such as another unfortunately doxxed friend pseudonym Ganix), but deleted the rest. Hence, even still, much of the data may be irretrievable.

The breaches lead to his prosecution in 2019, and other people were able to access the data; still hosted today by various legally grey websites, and inevitably popular websites in journalism and the Nintendo communities. Nintendo would receive "estimated damages of up to $1.8 million".[1]

Following the original two leaks, were waves of many more leaks; spanning 2018-2020 via the 4chan imageboard website; known for grey area content, sometimes rumors rather than facts, and is generally not moderated to be safe, and includes 'NSFW' (not safe for work) content.


The original leaks were allegedly related to a breach of old Nintendo data held by BroadOn (now Acer Cloud Technology), though it is believed that BroadOn technically was not hacked per se, but Nintendo of Europe was and that they simply held the data they shared with BroadOn circa the early Heisei era (specifically 90s, 00s and a bit later) era of Nintendo in .tar files.

Wack0 was an employee of Malware Bytes; an anti-malware team, and was also a respected contributor/staff member for, Glitch City Laboratories (as was Ganix a member, alias "Cryo"); a website about Pokémon and other video game glitches, and was also involved in the pret (Pokémon Reverse Engineering Tools) community. This has caused concern, for example it lead to one of the two head admins (User:Torchickens on this NintendoWiki) resigning from the role of Glitch City Laboratories' joint head admin, and the other (Photon-Phoenix) deciding to close the site to clear it of any Nintendo leaks (perhaps given; not only data was leaked but also passwords); yet one of the accepted living archives (, a new community not directly involved with Glitch City Laboratories anymore; despite this still mentions the Nintendo Space World leaks.

The man, on autism spectrum (a socio-developmental spectrum associated with passionate interests and difficulties with social interaction) and subject to face blindness was passionate about computer science. Judge Milne ruled that he would not go to prison as it would put him at risk (in the context of the social anxiety, stress, worry, in a potentially hostile environment he would face); "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".

Further leaks

As mentioned earlier, and even during Wack0's prosecution it is believed that Wack0's peers (who received some data shared by him) continued to leak the remaining content of what they were given on 4chan. In the context of NintendoWiki's notability criteria, this included assets from old Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS games; such as the source code of hardware/games (including the popular Pokémon Platinum), private insider data/discussions, usernames/passwords. The leaks also included unreleased prototypes, iQue software/internal data, such as the proposal of a Pokémon series MMO linked to Game Boy Advance (more information), a NetCard (networking/online card and software but for China/iQue), tech demos, and even unannounced products entirely; i.e. Hajimari no Mori but for Game Boy Color, two builds of Sutte Hakkun GB; a fully unreleased game in the Sutte Hakkun series, the cancelled English version of X; known as Lunar Chase, Gimmick Land (Game Boy Color prototype of Game Boy Advance game Tomato Adventure), Hello Kitty Game Boy Camera (significantly different; shares the "Kitt" currency from Pocket Hello Kitty, and Mobile Trainer music) and Pokémon Picross for Game Boy Color; previously revealed in a magazine.

Dylan Cuthbert; developer of Star Fox series and its precursor X would confirm on Twitter the veracity of the leaks, at least in relation to his code, but Nintendo have generally kept quiet about all of the leaks in general, although some of the unreleased Pokémon characters, such as (with various others) Gorochu and Jaggu were officially revealed by interviews, NHK and the 2018 Satoshi Tajiri manga; which lead to debate about the veracity of the leaks; given those recent reveals may have inspired them.

Further back, a Pokémon screenshot from the 1995 book Shin Game Design was a remnant from a Pokémon Red/Green prototype, as were sprites from Capsule Monsters on the front cover itself (Generation I assets were among the leaks).

Related articles

  • RGDWiki has extensive articles on the subject, but due to them providing links to websites that still host the leaks to download it has not been linked for legal reasons.
  • The Cutting Room Floor documents lots of the leaked data, but research is incomplete.
  • 2020 Nintendo data leak (Wikipedia)