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Alleged mastermind behind Uber hack and GTA 6 leak declared unfit for trial | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


In brief: The teenager allegedly behind the infamous Grand Theft Auto 6 leak, as well as a hack on Uber, has been deemed mentally unfit to stand trial in a London court. It means that the jury will only determine whether the member of the Lapsus$ hacking group committed the crimes he is accused of, rather than judging him guilty or not guilty.

It was in mid-September last year when Uber announced it was investigating a cybersecurity incident that compromised many of its internal systems, giving the hacker, who said he was just 18 years old, almost complete access to the company’s network. The breach was said to be worse than the 2016 hack that exposed the details of 57 million Uber customers.

While that incident brought quite a bit of attention, it was nothing compared to what happened next. The same hacker that compromised Uber’s network leaked a swathe of content for what is arguably the most anticipated game ever: GTA 6. It included test build videos and screenshots, most of which were removed after Take-Two issued copyright strikes against the hosts. He also attempted to negotiate a deal with Rockstar, asking for a five-figure sum in return for not leaking its games’ source codes.

It was only a couple of days later when the City of London police arrested the alleged hacker, Arion Kurtaj, thanks to assistance from the FBI and NCCU. Reuters reports that he is accused of causing almost $3 million of damage to Uber and accessing around 5,000 Revolut customers’ information. Kurtaj is also accused alongside a 17-year-old of blackmailing BT Group (Britain’s biggest broadband provider) and mobile operator EE between July and November 2021; they demanded a $4 million ransom. The pair are also alleged to be behind a hack on Nvidia.

Prosecutors say the younger of the pair hacked the City of London Police’s cloud storage weeks after the force arrested him in connection with the attack on BT and EE.

The 12 offenses Kurtaj faces include three counts of blackmail, two counts of fraud and six charges under the Computer Misuse Act. He previously pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, two offences under the Computer Misuse Act, and breaching bail conditions.

Kurtaj has been assessed by psychiatrists as not fit to stand trial. In the UK, this means that someone does not have the capacity to stand trial due to a disability or mental disorder. This disability must be such that they cannot understand the charges, the nature of the proceedings, or the evidence.

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