The 18-year-old hacker behind on of the most prolific hacks and dissemination of leaked video game materials, which targeted Rockstar Games and resulted in early prototype footage of Grand Theft Auto VI flooding the internet, has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order by a judge in the UK.
As Bloomberg reports, Arion Kurtaj and and unidentified 17-year-old accomplice were found guilty of serious computer misuse, blackmail and fraud earlier this year following hacks and criminal activity involving Rockstar Games, NVIDIA, EE, Uber and Revolut. The pair were accused of belonging to the hacker group, Lapsus$.
Judge Patricia Lees sentenced the 17-year-old to a youth rehabilitation order with an 18 month supervision requirement, but handed Kurtaj an “indefinite hospital order” due to his complex autistic-spectrum disorder. Kurtaj is believed to still be fixated with hacking activity and likely to reoffend, especially if enticed by third parties online. He’ll be placed in a secure hospital until a mental health tribunal decides he’s fit to be released.
The Rockstar hack, in which Kurtaj and other members of the Lapsus$ stole GTA 6 code and footage from a development build resulting in more than 90 videos appearing online, occurred while the teen was on bail for previous hacks involving NVIDIA and others.
At the time, Rockstar had said of the leak, “We recently suffered a network intrusion in which an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto. At this time, we do not anticipate any disruption to our live game services nor any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects.
“We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way. Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience to you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectations. We will update everyone again soon and, of course, will properly introduce you to this next game when it is ready. We want to thank everyone for their ongoing support through this situation.”
Of course, Rockstar went on to recently reveal Grand Theft Auto VI in an official capacity, though it once again suffered a leak as the trailer hit the internet early and pushed the publisher/studio to premiere the trailer earlier than planned.