The teenage hacker who leaked clips of the new Grand Theft Auto VI (GTA VI) has been sentenced to a hospital stay of indefinite length.
Arion Kurtaj, an 18-year-old from Oxford in England, could remain in a secure hospital for life unless doctors determine he is no longer a danger to the public, the BBC reported this week. The outlet reported that Kurtaj, who is autistic, was a key part of the hacker group Lapsus$ that cost major companies Uber, Nvidia, and Rockstar Games — which makes GTA — some $10 million in damages.
Kurtaj leaked 90 clips, totaling more than 50 hours of gameplay footage, to GTA forums in 2022, when he was just 17 years old. He was arrested in September of last year.
The Guardian reported that, during trial, it was noted that Kurtaj had proven violent and destructive to property while in custody. Doctors determined that he was unfit to stand trial due to his acute autism, the Guardian reported, and that a mental health assessment determined he “continued to express the intent to return to cyber-crime as soon as possible.”
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Another Lapsus$ member, who is 17 years old and thus unnamed, was found guilty of fraud, blackmail, and Computer Misuse Act crimes and sentenced to a youth rehabilitation program. Police warned parents to keep an eye on their kids’ online activities in the wake of the sentences.
“This case serves as an example of the dangers that young people can be drawn towards whilst online and the serious consequences it can have for someone’s broader future,” Detective Chief Superintendent Amanda Horsburgh, from the City of London Police, said in a statement. “Many young people wish to explore how technology works and what vulnerabilities exist. This can include learning to code, interacting with like-minded individuals online, and experimenting with tools. Unfortunately, the digital world can also be tempting to young people for the wrong reasons.”
Meanwhile, Rockstar released an official trailer for GTA VI early this month — ahead of schedule — after suffering yet another leak.