The TorrentFreak magazine reported about leaked documents that shed light on how a few years ago Nintendo arranged a large-scale surveillance of the hacker who prepared attack on the 3DS console. The company closely monitored his personal life and was aware of when he left the house and where he was going, and even tried to force him to stop.
Last week, several Twitter users (1, 2) posted parts of the documents that were leaked from Nintendo. While among many interesting things to be found in these papers, the most shocking discoveries involve Neimod, a hacker who developed exploits for the 3DS handheld console several years ago.
In the documents, he is described as a “highly qualified hardware engineer” with “a very high reputation among Nintendo product hackers.” The papers also list his personal data, including what influenced his qualifications and details of his career. The papers also feature evidence of daily physical surveillance of the hacker (how many times Neimod was at home, who came to him, when he visited banks, restaurants, and so on).
A detective hired by the company monitored him to determine when Neimaud left work. After work, a “contact group” was supposed to approach him and communicate “in a friendly, safe, professional and polite manner, and also provide a business card.”
After engaging Neimaud in the conversation, the team was instructed to flatter him by “acknowledging his engineering and programming skills.” They also had to remind the hacker that he was trying to “not promote piracy” and point out Nintendo’s concern that the release of his exploits could serve that very purpose.
Whether Neimod agreed or refused, Nintendo was ready for both options. The next slide, posted on Twitter Eclipse-TT, shows the whole diagram that the company followed. The diagram describes each step in preparing for a meeting and interaction with Neimod, as well as possible scenarios.
In papers, depending on the development of events, it is proposed to use carrot-and-stick method. So, in the worst case, Nintendo has prepared a list of crimes committed by Neimod in accordance with Belgian law.
However, if an agreement was reached, Nintendo intended to refrain from filing claims and even allowed the possibility of contracting with the hacker to pay him rewards for the documented vulnerabilities. At the same time, it was planned to leave Neymod some freedom of action, so that he had the opportunity to “publicly boast” of the work done. The company believed that this would help improve Nintendo’s image. Also, as a “bonus” Neimodu were ready to offer a trip to Japan to meet with Nintendo engineers.
Let me remind you that I talked about NATO being experimented with deceptive techniques to combat Russian hackers.