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How I Fought the Oven and Lost, While a Teen Hacker Won the Internet | by Christopher Collins | Dec, 2023 | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker | #hacking | #aihp

So there I was, in a YMCA hostel, staring blankly at an oven that seemed to need a PhD in Astrophysics to operate. I mean, who designs these things? The oven had more buttons than a NASA control panel, and I just wanted to heat up a pizza. Meanwhile, I’m also grappling with the enigma of why on Earth there are two remote controls for one TV. One apparently controls the volume, and the other is just there to mock me with its uselessness.

Now, on to the world outside my technological hell. An 18-year-old hacker, Arion Kurtaj, a key player in the notorious Lapsus$ cyber-crime gang, gets an indefinite hospital order. Why? For leaking clips of a forthcoming GTA game. Because, clearly, that’s the pinnacle of cyber-crime. Forget about major security breaches or election interference, this guy leaked a video game.

Let’s add some flavor to this tale: while in custody, Arion was a model citizen – if your model is a bull in a china shop. Dozens of reports of injury and property damage. But hey, he’s a tech wizard, so let’s just focus on the hacking part, right?

Now, here’s the kicker. The guy was unfit to stand trial because of severe autism. But wait, it gets better. While on bail, he pulls off his most infamous hack. And how? Not with a high-tech computer lab, but with an Amazon Firestick, a hotel TV, and a mobile phone. If that doesn’t scream ‘MacGyver’, I don’t know what does.

He steals 90 clips of the unreleased GTA 6. Instead of going underground, he demands Rockstar contact him on Telegram. Like a cyber Robin Hood, except he’s not giving to the poor, just giving everyone spoilers.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out which remote turns on the TV and which one launches a satellite. And as for the oven, I’ve decided it’s safer to eat cold pizza.

But let’s not forget the real victims here: the companies who lost millions, and not to mention, my sanity trying to use modern tech. As for Arion and his hacker buddies, they’re like the digital bandits of the Wild West, if the Wild West had Wi-Fi and game spoilers.

And there you have it, a day in the life where I battle with an oven and a TV remote, while teenagers hack into multinational corporations for fun. What a time to be alive.

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