UK court concludes teenager behind huge hacking campaign

UK court concludes teenager behind huge hacking campaign

Grand Theft Auto 5, the last iteration of the game, was released in 2013 and has since sold 170 million copies and generated some seven billion dollars
Grand Theft Auto 5, the last iteration of the game, was released in 2013 and has since sold 170 million copies and generated some seven billion dollars. Photo: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP/File
Source: AFP

A UK court on Wednesday found a teenager responsible for a hacking campaign that included one of the biggest breaches in the history of the video game industry.

Arion Kurtaj, 18, was described by the prosecution as one of the "key players" in the Lapsus$ group that hacked Rockstar Games in 2022 and published footage from its still unreleased "Grand Theft Auto 6".

Following a two-month case at London's Southwark Crown Court, a jury unanimously concluded that Kurtaj, whom psychiatrists deemed was unfit to stand trial, had carried out 12 offences.

They included carrying out an unauthorised act to impair the operation of a computer, blackmail and fraud.

Kurtaj also threatened Rockstar Games he would leak the hacked source code for its latest Grand Theft Auto releases onto internet forums.

Grand Theft Auto 5, the last iteration of the game that revolves around heists and street violence, was released in 2013 and has since sold 170 million copies and generated some $7 billion in revenue.

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Kurtaj and a 17-year-old youth, whose name cannot be published because of his age, were also accused of hacking software company Nvidia in February 2022 and threatening to release its intellectual property.

The 17-year-old was on Wednesday found guilty of fraud and blackmail.

Prosecutors said the pair hacked the servers of broadband provider BT and mobile operator EE before demanding a $4-million (3.7-million-euro) ransom.

Sentencing dates have yet to be fixed for either defendant.

Source: AFP

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