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Teenage Hacker Who Leaked GTA 6 Details Convicted in UK

A London jury has found two teenagers responsible for numerous high-profile hacks as members of the Lapsus$ group, which carried out various attacks on Grand Theft Auto (GTA) game publisher Rockstar Games, tech giant Nvidia, ride sharing service Uber, and British telecommunications company EE, among others.

Both 18-year-old Arion Kurtaj and a 17-year-old male—who was not identified due to his age—were convicted in court Wednesday, Bloomberg reports. Kurtaj was blamed for hacking Rockstar Games’ servers in 2022 and leaking confidential information to the public about the upcoming game, Grand Theft Auto 6.

In 2022, Kurtaj illegally retrieved sensitive data and video from Grand Theft Auto 6 from the company and posted a message in Rockstar Games’ Slack group stating, “I am not a Rockstar employee, I am an attacker.”

Kurtaj told Rockstar that he had acquired all of GTA 6’s data and gave the firm an ultimatum, demanding that it contact him over Telegram or he would release the stolen data. Over 90 video clips and images of Grand Theft Auto 6 were then published on an online forum, and Rockstar Games confirmed the authenticity of the early footage.

The leaked content suggested that GTA 6 would have the franchise’s first-ever female protagonist, and be set in the Miami-inspired Vice City. The game will have a Latina woman and a white man as its two playable protagonists, Bloomberg reported. The as-yet-unrevealed game is the follow-up to 2013’s Grand Theft Auto 5, one of the most successful games of all time with over 185 million copies sold to date.

The London jury found Kurtaj at fault for all 12 charges, Reuters reported, including six charges under Britain’s Computer Misuse Act as well as three counts of blackmail and two counts of fraud.

But Kurtaj, who is an autistic person, did not appear in court due to a psychiatric evaluation that concluded he was unfit to stand for trial, the BBC reported. Therefore, the court did not announce a “guilty” verdict, but instead found him legally responsible for the crimes.

The teen duo were also accused of hacking Nvidia together, and the unnamed 17-year-old was convicted for hacking Nvidia and committing fraud and blackmail after he stole approximately 1 terabyte of data from the tech hardware giant and held it for ransom.

The 17-year-old, whom the BBC reported is also an autistic person, was found guilty of one count under the Computer Misuse Act, one count of fraud, and one count of blackmail for the Nvidia hack. He was found not guilty for one count of blackmail and another under the Computer Misuse Act, as it relates to allegations that he had hacked EE parent company BT.

Source: Decrypt

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