Notorious GTA VI Hacker, Arion Kurtaj, Detained Indefinitely Under Mental Health Act

In a shocking turn of events, Arion Kurtaj, an 18-year-old key player in the notorious Lapsus$ hacking group, has been detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act. Kurtaj gained infamy for orchestrating a hacking spree that targeted major tech firms, including Rockstar Games, the developer behind the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto (GTA) franchise.

The Grand Theft Auto VI Leak

Kurtaj’s hacking exploits included the theft of codes and unreleased footage of Grand Theft Auto VI, the highly anticipated sequel slated for release next year. The leaked content caused a massive stir in the gaming community, impacting Rockstar Games and resulting in a substantial loss of marketing opportunities.

Blackmail and Financial Fallout

Following the hack, Kurtaj took to online forums, publishing stolen footage and blackmailing Rockstar Games. He threatened to release the source code unless the developer complied with his demands in September of the previous year. The fallout from the breach cost Rockstar Games a staggering $1.5 million, involving external assistance and thousands of hours of employee work.

Extensive Hacking Spree

Kurtaj’s hacking activities weren’t limited to Rockstar Games. Over a 14-month period from July 2021 to September last year, while he was aged 16 and 17, he targeted major entities such as broadband provider BT, mobile operator EE, software company Nvidia, and ride-hailing giant Uber. These cyberattacks included multi-million dollar demands, showcasing the audacity of the Lapsus$ group.

Legal Proceedings and Mental Health Assessment

Despite being diagnosed as autistic, Kurtaj faced legal consequences. Psychiatrists deemed him unfit to enter pleas or stand trial, yet a jury found him responsible for 12 offenses, including unauthorized computer acts, blackmail, fraud, and non-compliance with a section 49 notice.

Indefinite Detainment Under Mental Health Act

In a landmark decision, Judge Patricia Lees ordered Kurtaj’s indefinite detention in a hospital under the Mental Health Act. This includes a restriction under Section 41, stipulating that discharge from the hospital requires approval from the justice secretary.

Co-Conspirator Sentencing

Alongside Kurtaj, a 17-year-old co-conspirator, whose identity is protected due to age, faced sentencing. Involved in cyber offenses against EE/BT and Nvidia, the youth received a youth rehabilitation order, including supervision and prohibited activity requirements.

Conclusion: Cyber Offense Spree Comes to an End

The detention of Arion Kurtaj marks the conclusion of a spree of cyber offenses orchestrated by the Lapsus$ hacking group. The legal actions taken against the perpetrators emphasize the severity of cybercrimes and their broader impact on companies and industries. As the gaming community awaits the official release of Grand Theft Auto VI, this incident serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by cyber threats in the digital age.

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