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Leaders of Switch piracy group Team Xecuter arrested, face 11 felonies

The Switch piracy world has been dealt a major blow as two leaders of Team Xecuter have been arrested on 11 felony charges.

@DeekeTweak
Published Fri, Oct 2 2020 6:43 PM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Oct 19 2020 8:20 PM CDT

Two leaders of Team Xecuter, a group responsible for hacking the Nintendo Switch's OS and selling exploits that allow pirated software, have been arrested and face 11 felony charges related to their manipulation and illegal sale and free availability of pirated software.

Leaders of Switch piracy group Team Xecuter arrested, face 11 felonies 20 | TweakTown.com

The world of piracy has been dealt another major blow by Nintendo. First Nintendo went after emulation websites, then it went after UberChips, a website that sold hardware related to exploiting Nintendo products. Now the company, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security are pressing against Team Xecuter, a group of hackers who have repeatedly exploited the Switch to allow pirated software on the device. Team Xecuter was first responsible for hacking the Switch in 2017 thanks to a hardware vulnerability on the 20nm Tegra X1, and then also hacked the newly revised 16nm Tegra Switch model. Their operations began as early as 2013, the indictment claims.

According to a new press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, two of Team Xecuters leaders are now in custody. Max Louarn of France and Gary Bowser of the Dominican Republic have been arrested, the release states. Bowser has been extradited to the United States to face the charges, and appeared in federal court in New Jersey. Louarn has yet to be extradited but the U.S. is seeking it.

Both defendants face 11 felony charges related to Team Xecuter's 7-year run of exploits and piracy.

Here's a copy of the indictment, along with a synopsis from the press release:

In September 2020, Louarn and Bowser were arrested abroad in connection with the charges in this case. The United States will seek Louarn's extradition to stand trial in the United States. Bowser was arrested and deported from the Dominican Republic, and appeared today in federal court, in New Jersey.

From approximately June 2013 through August 2020, Team Xecuter used a variety of product names for its devices, such as the Gateway 3DS, the Stargate, the TrueBlue Mini, the Classic2Magic, and the SX line of devices that included the SX OS, the SX Pro, the SX Lite, and the SX Core.

According to the indictment, Team Xecuter at times cloaked its illegal activity with a purported desire to support gaming enthusiasts who wanted to design their own videogames for noncommercial use. However, the overwhelming demand and use for the enterprise's devices was to play pirated videogames. To support this illegal activity, Team Xecuter allegedly helped create and support online libraries of pirated videogames for its customers, and several of the enterprise's devices came preloaded with numerous pirated videogames. According to the indictment, Team Xecuter was so brazen that it even required customers to purchase a "license" to unlock the full features of its custom firmware, the SX OS, in order to enable the ability to play pirated videogames.

In September 2020, Louarn and Bowser were arrested abroad in connection with the charges in this case. The United States will seek Louarn's extradition to stand trial in the United States. Bowser was arrested and deported from the Dominican Republic, and appeared today in federal court, in New Jersey.

Each defendant is charged with 11 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and to traffic in circumvention devices, trafficking in circumvention devices, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case is being investigated jointly by the FBI and HSI.

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NEWS SOURCE:justice.gov

Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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