The teenager accused of hacking Rockstar Games and leaking Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6) footage has been deemed unfit to stand trial, after being charged with 12 offences in relation to a string of hacks.
In September 2022, over 90 videos and screenshots from GTA 6 surfaced online. Rockstar Games confirmed the “early development footage” had been “illegally accessed and downloaded” — and within weeks, a teenager in Oxfordshire was arrested in relation to the hack.
Now, 18-year-old Arion Kurtaj faces 12 offences, including six charges under the Computer Misuse Act, three blackmail charges, and two counts of fraud (Reuters, via Eurogamer).
While psychiatrists have found Kurtaj is unfit to stand trial, Kurtaj is an alleged member of hacking group Lapsus$ and stands accused of hacking Revolut, Uber, Rockstar, and BT. It’s alleged that Kurtaj also attacked BT and EE, and used Rockstar’s own Slack channel to threaten to release Grand Theft Auto 6‘s source code.
While Kurtaj is suspected of acting alone for the Rockstar, Uber and Revolut hacks, a 17-year-old who cannot be named is thought to have been involved in the blackmailing of BT and EE.
Prosecutors claimed that both were “key players” in Lapsus$, and attempted to blackmail BT and EE for $4million (£3million). Meanwhile, Uber claimed their own hack caused $3million (£2.2million) in damages.
Back in September, Rockstar said it didn’t “anticipate any disruption to [its] live game services nor any long-term effect on the development of [its] ongoing projects.”.
“We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way,” the company added. “Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned.”
Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of GTA publisher Take-Two Interactive, later described the leak as “terribly unfortunate,” and said it would not have “any influence” on development.