Teen Hacker Sentenced to Hospital Order for GTA 6 Leak and Cyber Attacks

An 18-year-old hacker, Arion Kurtaj, part of the international hacking group Lapsus$, has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order following a series of high-profile cyber-attacks, including the leak of Grand Theft Auto 6 game clips. Kurtaj, diagnosed with acute autism, was deemed unfit to stand trial, leading the jury to focus solely on whether he committed the acts, not his criminal intent.

Kurtaj’s hacking spree involved major firms like Nvidia, BT/EE, and Rockstar Games, causing nearly $10 million in damages. His most notorious act was breaching Rockstar Games’ internal systems and leaking 90 clips of the unreleased GTA 6, threatening to release more data if not contacted. This attack alone cost Rockstar approximately $5 million and thousands of staff hours to recover.

Despite being under police protection and having his laptop confiscated, Kurtaj used an Amazon Firestick, a hotel television, and a mobile phone to continue his activities. His actions led to a rearrest while staying at a Travelodge hotel. The case has prompted law enforcement to advise parents on monitoring their children’s internet use, highlighting the risks and temptations in the digital world.

The court heard of Kurtaj’s violent behavior in custody, with numerous reports of injuries and property damage. A mental health assessment indicated his continued intention to return to cyber-crime. This indefinite hospital order means Kurtaj will remain in a secure hospital unless deemed no longer a danger.

Another 17-year-old Lapsus$ member, whose identity is protected due to legal reasons, was also convicted of multiple offenses, including fraud, computer misuse, and blackmail. He received an 18-month youth rehabilitation order with strict supervision and online activity restrictions.

The Lapsus$ group’s attacks, spanning from 2020 to 2022, targeted various companies, including telecom, gaming, and technology firms, leading to significant financial losses and security breaches. Their methods ranged from sophisticated hacking to social engineering, showcasing the evolving threats in the cyber-security landscape.

The gang’s impact extended internationally, with their actions prompting a detailed report by US cyber-authorities on the ease of infiltrating secure organizations, especially by juvenile hackers. The convictions of Kurtaj and his accomplice mark a significant development in the ongoing battle against cyber-crime, with other members of Lapsus$ still at large.

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