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‘Grand Theft Auto’ Hacker Going to Hospital Prison for Life | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker | #hacking | #aihp

An 18-year-old member of the Lapsus$ hacking group who leaked gameplay from the highly-anticipated Grand Theft Auto VI last year has been sentenced to an indefinite stint in a prison hospital. Arion Kurtaj of Oxford, England, was found unfit to stand trial due to severe autism. A London jury was therefore asked to determine whether he carried out cyberattacks, not whether he did so with criminal intent, per the BBC. The jury concluded in August that Kurtaj committed three counts of blackmail, two counts of fraud, and six charges under the Computer Misuse Act, per Reuters. The court heard Kurtaj had hacked Rockstar, Uber, and digital banking group Revolut in September 2022 while on bail for hacking other companies and in police protection at a hotel.

As his laptop had been confiscated, Kurtaj used his hotel TV, an Amazon Firestick included with the room, and a mobile phone, keyboard, and mouse he’d purchased, per the Verge. He released 90 clips of GTA VI and threatened to release the source code for the game. His lawyers claimed the success of the Grand Theft Auto VI trailer, which received 128 million views on YouTube in the four days following its release this month, showed Kurtaj’s hack did not cause the developer serious harm. Rockstar Games countered that it cost the company $5 million in addition to thousands of hours of staff time. The attacks on Uber, Nvidia, and Rockstar cost the firms nearly $10 million combined, per the BBC.

At a Thursday court hearing, a judge referred to a mental health assessment that found Kurtaj “continued to express the intent to return to cybercrime as soon as possible.” The court heard Kurtaj had also “been violent while in custody with dozens of reports of injury or property damage,” per the BBC. He was sentenced to life in a secure hospital, though he can go free if doctors determine he is no longer a danger, per the outlet. Another member of the Lapsus$ hacking group—which claims targets including Samsung, Microsoft, software company Nvidia, and British telecom provider BT/EE—was convicted alongside Kurtaj. The 17-year-old received an 18-month youth rehabilitation order, which includes supervision and a ban on using virtual private networks. (Read more hacking stories.)

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