GTA 6 hacker sentenced to indefinite stay in hospital prison

The hacker responsible for leaking dozens of Grand Theft Auto clips has been sentenced to indefinite prison time in a secure hospital.

According to BBC, Arion Kurtaj, 16 years old, is a member of the international hacker group Lapsus$. This group has previously carried out multiple attacks on large companies including Nvidia, Microsoft, Samsung and Uber.


Kurtaj was previously out on bail after the Nvidia attack and was under police protection at Travelodge when he carried out the attack last September. Even though his laptop was confiscated at the time, Kurtaj was still able to break into Rockstar’s internal systems using an Amazon Firestick, hotel TV, and cell phone. Not long after, Kurtaj posted clips and game sources to the online message board GTAForums.


Kurtaj was deemed incompetent to stand trial due to his medical diagnosis of acute autism, resulting in the jury only needing to determine whether he was responsible for the attack, not whether whether he intended to commit a crime or not. According to the BBC, Kurtaj is said to have committed violent acts while in police custody, including “dozens of reports of injuries or property damage”. The BBC also reported that a mental health assessment during the hearing found Kurtaj “continued to express his intention to return to commit cybercrime as soon as possible. He is very motivated.”

While Kurtaj’s defense has argued that the success of the trailer GTA 6 recently suggested there had been no measurable negative impact from the hack on Rockstar, Rockstar countered that it had cost the studio $5 million and thousands of employee hours. The trial ended with Kurtaj being sentenced to indefinite imprisonment in a secure hospital, with the possibility of release if doctors determine that he is no longer a threat to others.​


At that time, the leak Grand Theft Auto 6 was one of the biggest leaks in video game history. They include the game’s source code and 90 cinematics, all of which contain unfinished content and other details in development. The leaked videos were quickly taken down by Take-Two Interactive, and Rockstar confirmed the hack was real not long after in a public statement.

According to the BBC, while Kurtaj was tried and convicted along with another unnamed 17-year-old member of the group, several other members of Lapsus$ are believed to have remained at large.

After the Grand Theft Auto 6 hack, the gaming industry continued to face another large and damaging hack last week, this time targeting Insomniac Games. After threatening to reveal confidential company information unless paid 50 BTC, or about $2 million, and being refused, the hackers released 1.67 terabytes of data about Insomniac’s games, Sony’s business and contractual information as well as employee personal information. Sony has not yet issued a statement regarding this event.​

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