GTA 6 hacker Arion Kurtaj sentenced to hospital prison for life - Hindustan Times
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GTA 6 hacker Arion Kurtaj sentenced to hospital prison for life

Dec 23, 2023 04:00 PM IST

The hacker behind leaked GTA 6 footage, faces a life sentence in a hospital prison due to ongoing cybercrime threats

A life sentence in a hospital prison awaits Arion Kurtaj, the 18-year-old hacker who leaked Grand Theft Auto 6 footage online. The BBC reports that a British judge decided on Thursday that Kurtaj poses a serious threat to the public as he has not given up his desire to engage in cybercrime.

The official GTA 6 poster(Rockstar Games)
The official GTA 6 poster(Rockstar Games)

Kurtaj was part of Lapsus$, a hacking group that targeted GTA 6 developer Rockstar Games and other firms, such as Uber and Nvidia. A jury in London concluded in August that Kurtaj was responsible for the cyberattacks, but he was not tried for his criminal intent as he has autism and was unfit to stand trial. The jury only had to determine if he did the acts he was accused of.

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The judge heard on Thursday that Kurtaj “had been violent while in custody with dozens of reports of injury or property damage,” according to the BBC.

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A mental health evaluation also revealed that Kurtaj “continued to express the intent to return to cybercrime as soon as possible.” He will remain in the hospital prison for life unless doctors deem him safe to be released.

Kurtaj was out on bail for hacking Nvidia and BT / EE, a British telecom company, when he leaked 90 GTA 6 gameplay footage in September. He was under police protection at a hotel, but he still managed to hack Rockstar Games by using the Amazon Fire Stick in the room and a “newly purchased smart phone, keyboard and mouse,” the BBC says in another report.

He was arrested for the last time after this incident.

Another 17-year-old member of Lapsus$ received an 18-month community sentence, known as a Youth Rehabilitation Order, and a prohibition from using virtual private networks.

The official trailer for GTA 6 was released earlier this month, and it got hundreds of millions of views despite the leak of the videos by Kurtaj and the early release of the trailer on X (formerly Twitter).

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The outlet reports that the judge dismissed Kurtaj’s defence that the trailer’s popularity should be considered in the sentencing, saying that Lapsus$ harmed real people and businesses. Rockstar Games claimed it spent $5 million to recover from the attack.

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