When we think of “hacker”, we often imagine a troglodyte who swears only by anonymity and does his job as discreetly as possible. But even this fairly obscure discipline by definition has its stars, and Max “MAXiMiLiEN” Louarn is definitely one of them. This Avignonnais, a recognized hacker in his field, recently returned to the front of the stage a few months after the arrest of his colleague Gary Bowser (see our article).
He served as treasurer of Team Xecutera group of hackers who distinguished themselves by breaking the protections of many video game consoles, and in particular certain devices stamped Nintendo.
However, as fans of old game ROMs know only too well, the Japanese firm is conducting a merciless war to all practices that can be assimilated to piracy. She stops at nothing to assert her copyrights, even if it means going to seek the offenders in the Dominican Republic to imprison them and send a “strong message”, as was the case for Bowser.
A hacker with a CV as long as your arm
A situation that could encourage the rest of the band to lay low… but this is not the case for Louarn, who even told his story and explained his philosophy in a very edifying portrait written by Luc Leroux for Le Monde.
He recounts his beginnings as a little computer prodigy; before tackling modern consoles, he cut his teeth on the legendary Commodore 64. As he progressed, he developed a philosophy that he readily qualifies as “rebellious”; he ended up establishing himself as one of the driving forces behind the famous PARADOX group.
It therefore ended up appearing on the radars of several global digital players. According to an article from 1995 from the Nouvel Observateur, he took to their heels in the direction of Majorca, where he spent a few years before being intercepted and caught by the patrol during a visit to the United States; he thus spent five years imprisoned in the land of Uncle Sam.
No my culpa on the horizon despite the pressure
Since then, the person concerned has experienced some new setbacks, particularly in Tanzania in 2020. He ended up returning to France and now lives in Avignon… and to hear it, he is still in Nintendo’s crosshairs. “they hate me“, he says to the World. “I bet in Tokyo they posted my picture in their office”, he jokes.
The US government has not forgotten either. According to Eurogamerduring Gary Bowser’s trial, the judge specifically mentioned Louarnen stating that his role in the case would fully justify a prison sentence “two digits”. Le Monde also insists on the fact that the FBI has been interested in him for thirty years.
Despite everything, there is no question of making an act of contrition. “Max” continues to defend his ideals tooth and nail, with in particular a projection that looks like a political manifesto. “Stealing from companies that make billions, what do I care ?”, he explains in the columns of Le Monde. It remains to be seen how this game of cat and mouse will end between powerful institutions and a colorful troublemaker who is not ready to make his me culpa.
You can find the complete version of the fascinating portrait of the World at this address.