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GTA 6 Hacker Committed to Hospital Indefinitely After Vowing to Strike Again | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


A judge deemed the teenager a high risk to the public.

Run on Sentence

Arion Kurtaj, the 18-year-old hacker who leaked footage from the upcoming video game Grand Theft Auto VI, has been sentenced to an indefinite stay in a secure hospital, the BBC reports.

The judge determined that the British teenager, who has severe autism, is a high risk to the public because he still desires to commit further cybercrimes. Kurtaj won’t be able to leave the hospital — potentially  for life unless doctors deem him no longer a threat.

Because of his severe autism, Kurtaj was deemed unfit to stand trial, with juries instructed to determine solely if he committed the alleged crimes rather than if he had criminal intent behind them.

The court was told that Kurtaj was violent while in custody, and a mental health assessment found that he “continued to express the intent to return to cyber-crime as soon as possible,” adding that he is “highly motivated.”

Giant Slayer

Kurtaj was a member of the hacking group Lapsus$, with whom he led cyberattacks against tech giants including Uber, Nvidia, and GTA VI developer and publisher Rockstar Games. The game dev told the court that Kurtaj’s hack cost the company $5 million.

Kurtaj was arrested in Oxford in September 2022, and he later pleaded not guilty. By the time the authorities had caught up with him, he had leaked 90 videos of GTA VI gameplay. Because of the stature of the GTA games and the scale of the leaks, Kurtaj’s leak is one of the most significant in the history of the gaming industry.

How the teenager allegedly pulled off the heist is perhaps the wildest detail of this saga: while on bail for another hack, Kurtaj did it while in police protection. Not only that, he ingeniously broke into Rockstar using an Amazon Firestick, the hotel’s TV, and a phone. And thus, one of the largest video game companies in the world was brought to its knees.

Rockstar Rebound

He didn’t act alone, however. A 17-year-old who was also a member of Lapsus$ was found guilty in the same trial and was handed an 18-month Youth Rehabilitation Order.

The youth was part of the hack on Nvidia and the British telecom giant BT/EE. As part of his sentence, he has been banned from using VPNs and will undergo close supervision.

Despite the setback posed by the Lapsus$ leak, Rockstar Games is still sitting pretty. The GTA VI trailer it released earlier this month was an instant sensation, quickly shooting well past 150 million views on YouTube.

Kurtaj’s defense used the game trailer’s success to argue that Rockstar hadn’t been seriously harmed in order lighten his sentencing. But those pleas apparently fell on deaf ears, and now the teenager is staring down the barrel of a potential lifetime in hospital.

More on hacks: Devious Device Can Crash People’s iPhones Just by Being Near Them

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