Indefinite Hospitalization for GTA 6 Hacker in Landmark Sentencing

The teenage hacker who infiltrated Rockstar Games, leaked Grand Theft Auto VI footage, and was a central member of the Lasus$ international hacking group has been sentenced to indefinite hospitalization by a London judge. Arion Kurtaj, the 18-year-old hacker, breached Rockstar’s servers from a Travelodge hotel while under police custody using only an Amazon Fire TV Stick, smartphone, keyboard, and mouse. He was promptly re-arrested. Doctors declared Kurtaj unfit to stand trial due to his acute autism.

The jury was instructed to determine if he committed the alleged crimes, not whether he had criminal intent. A mental health assessment suggested that he “continued to express the intent to return to cybercrime,” leading the judge to decide that he remained too high a risk to the public. The court also heard accounts of Kurtaj’s allegedly violent behavior while in custody, including reports of injury and property damage.

Kurtaj’s attorneys argued that the success of the GTA 6 trailer, which racked up 128 million views in its first four days, meant his hack didn’t cause serious harm despite Rockstar’s claim that the hack cost them $5 million and thousands of hours of staff time.

A second Lapsus$ member, a 17-year-old, was found guilty in the same trial. The unnamed hacker was accused of working with Kurtaj and other Lapsus$ members to infiltrate Nvidia and phone company BT/EE, stealing data, and demanding a $4 million ransom. The minor was sentenced to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order under “intense supervision,” including a ban on VPN use.

These two accomplices are the first Lapsus$ members to be convicted. Authorities believe other members of the group are still at large and suspect primarily teenagers in the UK and Brazil. It isn’t clear what kind of payoff the hackers got from the ransom requests, if any, as none of the affected companies have admitted to paying.