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Teen hacker who leaked GTA 6 clips sectioned for life | UK News | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Arion Kurtaj will remain in a secure hospital for life unless doctors decide he is no longer a danger

A teenage hacker who stole 90 clips of the hugely anticipated Grand Theft Auto 6 game while in police protection has been sectioned for life.

Arion Kurtaj, who has severe autism, also stole the source code for the Rockstar Games title and tried to blackmail the company by threatening to leak it online.

A court heard he was a ‘key player’ in an international hacking gang called Lapsus$, whose attacks on Rockstar, Nvidia and Uber cost the firms nearly £8 million.

Prosecutors said Kurtaj went on a hacking spree while on bail for previous hacks on Nvidia and BT/EE.

He had been placed in police protection in a Travelodge hotel and had had laptop confiscated – but managed to carry out the attack using his phone, an Amazon Firestick and a TV in his hotel room.

He broke into the company’s internal Slack messaging system and declared: ‘If Rockstar does not contact me on Telegram within 24 hours I will start releasing the source code.’

Kurtaj was deemed unfit to stand trial due to the severity of his autism, so the jury was only asked to determine whether he committed the alleged actions – not whether there was any criminal intent.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by MOURAD ALLILI/SIPA/Shutterstock (14247640g) the release of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), one of the most popular games in the world, the American studio Rockstar Games has released the first official images of GTA VI Release of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), one of the most popular games in the world, France - 06 Dec 2023

Kurtaj targeted one of the biggest upcoming games to be announced in recent years (Picture: Shutterstock)

A mental health assessment used in the sentencing process said he ‘continued to express the intent to return to cyber-crime as soon as possible. He is highly motivated.’

The court also heard he had been violent in custody and linked him to dozens of incidents in which people were injured or property was damaged.

The presiding judge said Kurtaj’s skills and motivation meant he still posed a high risk to the public.

He will remain at a secure psychiatric hospital for life unless doctors decide he is no longer a danger.

A 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, also described as a ‘key player’ in Lapsus$, was found guilty in the same trial of two counts of fraud, two hacking offences and one count of blackmail.

Kurtaj’s defence counsel, David Miller, described his client as ‘the most vulnerable of adolescents’.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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