Teenage 'GTA VI' Hacker Sentenced to Life in Hospital Prison

18-year-old Arion Kurtaj leaked 90 clips from the title.

Gaming
33,355 Hypes 15 Comments

The teenager charged with hacking Rockstar Games and leaking footage from GTA VI has been sentenced to life in a hospital prison. Arion Kurtaj from Oxford, England, was a member of the global hacker gang Lapsus$, which has been deemed responsible for previous attacks on companies such as Uber and Nvidia.

The 18-year-old Kurtaj was on bail for hacking Nvidia and the British telecom operator BT when he carried out the hack. Despite being in a hotel in police protection, Kurtaj was able to breach Rockstar using an Amazon Firestick, the hotel TV and a mobile phone.

About 90 clips from GTA VI were leaked, equaling over an hour and a half of gameplay. He also hacked his way into the company’s Slack channel and warned, “if Rockstar does not contact me on Telegram within 24 hours I will start releasing the source code.”

Shortly after, Kurtaj posted the clips and source code on a gaming forum. The leak was a severe blow to Rockstar, which is notoriously secretive regarding game development and will often go years at a time without giving updates on projects, especially the GTA franchise.

Kurtaj was rearrested and detained leading up to his trial. In court, Rockstar said that the hack had cost the company $5 million USD, as well as well as developers’ time.

Prosecutors told the court that Kurtaj, who has severe autism, had been violent while in custody. Doctors had deemed him unfit to stand trial. As such, the jury was tasked with determining whether or not he had committed the hacks, not if he had criminal intent in doing so.

A mental health assessment of Kurtaj was used as evidence and detailed that he “continued to express the intent to return to cyber-crime as soon as possible.”

“He is highly motivated,” the assessment read.

Kurtaj’s sentence means he’ll remain in a secure hospital prison in the UK for the indefinite remainder of his life.

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