In December, the GTA 6 trailer was leaked, unveiling a lot of details about the highly-anticipated action-adventure game developed by Rockstar. The game is set in the fictional state of Leonida, inspired by Florida. This new GTA installment breaks tradition by introducing Lucia, the first female lead character in the franchise. Before the GTA 6 trailer's leak a day before its official release, Rockstar was a victim of a hacker attack caused by Arion Kurtaj, a member of the hacker group called Lapsus$.
As reported by BBC, 18-year-old hacker Arion Kurtaj, affiliated with the international hacker gang Lapsus$, has been given an indefinite hospital order for his role in leaking Grand Theft Auto 6 clips. Kurtaj was deemed a high risk to the public by the judge, who emphasized his cybersecurity skills and demonstrated desire to engage in cybercrime. Psychiatry revealed that he "continued to express the intent to return to cybercrime as soon as possible. He is highly motivated."
In July, a group of psychiatrists declared this GTA 6 hacker unfit for trial due to autism. However, the hacker couldn't escape any punishment, and this particular sentence will keep him in a secure hospital unless doctors determine he no longer poses a danger. Kurtaj's cyber exploits involved using an Amazon Fire Stick to breach the Rockstar Games database while on bail, resulting in 90 stolen clips of GTA 6. "If Rockstar does not contact me on Telegram within 24 hours, I will start releasing the source code," Kurtaj announced to Rockstar after breaking into its internal messaging.
Lapsus$ gained notoriety in the past for targeting major technology companies such as Uber, Nvidia, and Rockstar Games. The latest hack reportedly cost Rockstar development $5 million to recover from. However, Kurtaj’s defense argued that the company wasn’t affected by the leak, given the tremendous success the Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer achieved, even breaking YouTube views records.
He continued to express the intent to return to cybercrime as soon as possible. He is highly motivated.
While Kurtaj faces his sentence, a 17-year-old hacker, also a Lapsus$ member, was found guilty in the same trial of stealing data from big companies and demanding a four million dollar ransom. It remains unclear if there are more individuals responsible for the GTA 6 hacker attack. Despite mental health considerations, it is expected that Kurtaj’s sentence will prevent him from engaging in similar future cyber-attacks.
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