Arion Kurtaj, an 18-year-old hacker responsible for leaking 90 “GTA VI” videos in 2022, has been sentenced to an indefinite prison and hospital sentence. The hacker, a member of the Lapsus$ group, who has hacked several well-known companies such as Uber, will remain there until there is no longer any danger. The stolen images revealed many elements about Rockstar Games’ future hit, which was confirmed by the release of the first trailer on December 5th last year.
He had leaked dozens of stolen “GTA VI” videos. Arion Kurtaj, a hacker known by the pseudonym “AK,” was sentenced to an indefinite period of hospital detention on Thursday, December 21, the BBC reports. The 18-year-old, originally from Oxford and suffering from autism, was at the time a “key member” of a group called Lapsus$, which hacked Microsoft, Uber and Nvidia. Following this latest burglary, he was arrested by London police before being released on bail. For security reasons, “AK” was placed under protection after becoming a victim of doxing – a practice aimed at revealing information about a person’s identity. He was placed under house arrest in a hotel and banned from the internet.
At the same time, he broke into Rockstar’s servers. Without a computer, he used a smartphone, a keyboard, a mouse and an Amazon Fire Stick, connected to the television in his room, to break into the New York publisher’s system. On September 18, 2022, Take-Two Interactive’s subsidiary fell victim to a major leak, one of the largest in video game history. The hacker, hidden under the username “TeaPotUberHacker,” published the source code of the future “Grand Theft Auto” on a forum. He also broadcast 90 excerpts from the new episode of the successful license.
He revealed around fifty minutes of stolen images from an old test version called “Alpha”. These featured elements of the studio’s future hit with the star-studded “R”, never previously unknown to the general public. We were able to discover in particular the two main protagonists, the future Lucia and Jason, a modern version of Bonnie and Clyde and various locations or settings that suggest a return of the saga to “Vice City”, a fictional city inspired by Miami and already was explored in 2022.
At the material time, Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier, one of the most respected in the video game world, described the massive leak as a “nightmare” for the studio. A few days later, Arion Kurtaj was arrested, suspected by the British police with the support of the FBI of being responsible for the break-in at Rockstar.
A leak that cost Rockstar millions
Due to his acute autism, he was unfit to stand trial and was sentenced to a stay in a prison hospital until he was no longer considered a threat. A mental health assessment conducted as part of the sentencing found that the young hacker “continued to express his intention to return to cybercrime as soon as possible” and called him “very motivated.” Separately, the court heard that Arion Kurtaj had been violent while in custody and there had been dozens of reports of injuries or property damage.
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His defense argued that the success of the first trailer, released on December 5, 2023, shows that its action did not cause serious harm to the developer. An argument not considered by the judge, who mentioned real victims and real harm caused by his other multiple hacks on individuals and companies he targeted with Lapsus$. In court, Rockstar Games claimed that the leak it was the victim of cost $5 million and thousands of hours of work for its teams. A leak that fortunately did not delay the development of “GTA VI”.