As SecurityLab reported in February of this year, a certain Gary Bowser received three years in prison for participating in the hacker group Team Xecutor, which sold hacked Nintendo consoles on which you can play pirated games. However, Bowser’s partner, the leader of the Max Louarn group, is still at large. Despite problems with the law and even an arrest in Tanzania, the 50-year-old Frenchman is enjoying life with his girlfriend, a former model from Russia, in the picturesque city of Avignon in the south of France.
Luarne became interested in hacking in the 1980s. At first, he hacked his Commodore 64 home computer for fun, but the harmless hobby eventually turned into a good source of income.
“I wasn’t going to be an engineer with a salary of 5 thousand euros a month when I realized at the age of 18 that hacking is not only fun, but also brings a lot of money. Stealing from companies earning billions, why not?” the hacker admitted to Le Monde in a recent interview.
MAXiMiLiEN (hacker alias Luarna from the 1990s) sold hacked games, key generators and software until 1993, when he was arrested on charges of piracy… by Nintendo! The hacker flew to Spain, but law enforcement agencies tricked him into the United States by sending a fake invitation to a birthday party on behalf of his friend. As soon as Luarne got off the plane, he was immediately arrested.
The Frenchman pleaded guilty and served five years in an American prison. In 2005, Sony sued the hacker, accusing him of piracy and demanding damages in the amount of $ 5 million.
According to Luarn, Nintendo considers him a sworn enemy.
“They hate me. I bet there’s a picture of me hanging in their office in Tokyo,” the hacker laughs.
However, he considers himself not a villain, but rather a rebel.
“We have always stood for freedom. This is our way of thinking: to do whatever we want with cars, and that everyone has access to them,” said Luarn.
It is noteworthy that the hacker himself denies his connection with Team Xecutor, although as part of the cooperation agreement with the investigation, Gary Bowser called him his accomplice. Now not only Nintendo is hunting for the Frenchman, but also the US Department of Justice.
As already mentioned, Luarn was arrested in Tanzania in 2020, but was released after a court ruled his arrest illegal. On a private plane, the hacker managed to escape from the FBI and fly to France.
Although Luarne lives a relatively free life at home, his foreign bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets are frozen, and the legal grip is tightening more and more.
Anyway, the hacker does not intend to give up. According to him, US laws protect the interests of large corporations and are “ready to destroy competitors, covering up simple commercial disputes with criminal legislation.”
“It would be more difficult to serve my sentence now, because I have to take care of my father. I have a 16-year-old daughter and a second child is coming soon,” says Luarn.