An 18-year-old Autistic hacker has been sentenced to life in a secure hospital for hacking into the Rockstar Games database and stealing 90 clips of the unreleased Grand Theft Auto 6 game.
In a ruling on Thursday, a British judge deemed Arion Kurtaj a high risk to the public due to his continued desire to engage in cybercrime.
In August, a London jury established Kurtaj’s involvement in cyberattacks against entities such as GTA VI developer Rockstar Games, Uber, and Nvidia. Despite being diagnosed with autism and deemed unfit for trial, the jury’s focus was on determining whether he committed the acts, not his criminal intent.
During the recent court hearing, reports surfaced of Kurtaj’s violent behaviour while in custody, involving numerous instances of injury or property damage.
A mental health evaluation affirmed his persistent intent to pursue cybercrimes imminently. His confinement within the hospital prison is indefinite, contingent on a reassessment by medical professionals regarding public risk.
While on bail for hacking Nvidia and British telecom provider BT/EE, Kurtaj leaked 90 videos of GTA VI gameplay in September. Even under police protection at a hotel, he orchestrated an attack on Rockstar Games using an Amazon Fire Stick and a newly acquired smartphone, keyboard, and mouse, according to another BBC report. Kurtaj was subsequently arrested following the incident.
Another individual, a 17-year-old associated with Lapsus$, received an 18-month community sentence termed a Youth Rehabilitation Order, accompanied by a ban from utilising virtual private networks.
As part of the order, he will have an 18-month supervision requirement, a six-month rehabilitation requirement, and a three-month intensive supervision and surveillance requirement.
DCS Amanda Horsburgh, from the City of London police, said: “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.
“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.”