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Teen who leaked Grand Theft Auto VI sentenced to indefinite stay in “secure hospital,” report says | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


A British judge has sentenced the 18-year-old hacker who leaked footage of the unreleased video game Grand Theft Auto VI to indefinite detention in a secure hospital, according to a BBC report. 

The hacker, Arion Kurtaj, leaked 90 clips from Rockstar Games’ forthcoming Grand Theft Auto VI and also launched cyberattacks on Uber, Nvidia and other corporations. A British jury in August convicted Kurtaj and another teen, who were members of the international hacking group Lapsus$, for hacking, fraud and extortion.

Rockstar Games did not reply to CBS MoneyWatch’s request for comment on the breach. 

The judge presiding over the case ruled that Kurtaj should be placed in a secure hospital until mental health professionals decided he no longer poses a risk to the public, according to the BBC. Doctors had deemed Kurtaj, who is severely autistic, unfit to stand trial. 

The UK’s secure hospitals balance psychiatric care with custody and are considered much less harsh than prison. They double as residential treatment centers that aim to rehabilitate, and eventually discharge, offenders. There are 60 such secure mental health hospitals in England and Wales, according to a report from The Guardian.

Guild Lodge is one of 60 medium-secure mental health hospitals in England and Wales that house people deemed to be a danger either to themselves or others on account of their mental illness. 

Kurtaj remains “a high risk of serious harm to the public through skill in gaining unfettered access to computers,” the judge said in a court on Thursday this week, according to Bloomberg.

While on bail awaiting sentencing for the cyberattacks and despite having his laptop confiscated, Kurtaj carried out the Grand Theft Auto hack using an Amazon Fire TV Stick, a hotel television and his mobile phone, BBC reported. He breached the company’s internal messaging system and wrote, “if Rockstar does not contact me on Telegram within 24 hours I will start releasing the source code.” He publicly posted the code and clips of the video game shortly thereafter, according to the broadcaster.

GTA 6 is among the most highly anticipated video game releases of all time. Less than a day after Rockstar posted a trailer, it had racked up more than 60 million views on YouTube. The game is slated to be released sometime in 2025.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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