Teenage hacker responsible for GTA VI leaks sentenced to indefinite hospital stay for intent to return to cybercrime
December 22, 2023

Teenage hacker responsible for GTA VI leaks sentenced to indefinite hospital stay for intent to return to cybercrime

Eighteen-year-old Albanian teenage hacker Arion Kurtaj has been convicted in the UK of hacking and releasing footage from the upcoming GTA VI game in 2022. However, he was sentenced to spend an “indefinite amount of time in a ‘secure' hospital” instead of jail time, as the court concluded that he is not competent to stand trial due to acute autism and his intention to return to cybercrime as soon as possible.

The Albanian teenager was also identified as a key member of the “Lapsus$” gang, which carried out cyber attacks on technology companies Nvidia, Samsung and Microsoft. The judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Kurtaj, after which it was determined that he is still “highly motivated” and that he continues to express his intention to return to cyber crime as soon as possible. In addition, the court found that he hacked the Rockstar company, using only an Amazon Fire Stick device, a hotel television and a mobile phone, while he was already in police custody on bail at the Travelodge Hotel for previous cyber attacks he had carried out.

The judge in the case said that his skill and determination to commit crimes posed a high risk to the public, and that he would in fact remain in hospital for life, unless doctors determined that he was no longer dangerous, reports the BBC.

The word danger may sound like too strong a word for a person who posted video game footage. However, while the GTA VI hack is what made this teenage hacker most memorable from a gamer's perspective, it's far from his only crime. The group he is a member of hacked the other tech companies mentioned above, as well as the British telecommunications company BT&EE, and stole millions in cryptocurrencies from individuals. According to the media, Kurtaj was also violent during his stay in detention, causing dozens of injuries and material damage.

Kurtaj is not the only teenager convicted in this case. Another member of the Lapsus$ group was found guilty along with him, but considering that he is a minor who is 17 years old, his name is unknown to the public. The minor was sentenced to 18 months in the youth rehabilitation center, which represents the so-called common punishment for offenses that do not require imprisonment.

These two people are also the first members of the aforementioned hacker group to be convicted, but they probably won't be the last either. Seven more teenagers linked to the group were arrested in the UK during 2022, and the BBC claims there are more members of the group still at large.