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18-Year Old GTA 6 Hacker Sentenced To Life In Hospital Prison

He attacked Rockstar Games, Nvidia, and more as part of Lapsus$

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Robbers break into a store with guns.
Screenshot: Rockstar Games / Kotaku

The 18-year old hacker responsible for stealing and releasing dozens of clips of Grand Theft Auto 6 last year has been sentenced to life in hospital prison. He can only be released in the future if doctors decide he’s no longer a danger to others, the BBC reports.

Arion Kurtaj was arrested by London police in Oxford September 2022 shortly after a hacking spree ended with tons of in-development footage from Rockstar Games being unleashed on the internet. He pled not-guilty at the time, and later stood trial for cybercrimes associated with the hacking outfit Lapsus$ that included breaching Uber and Nvidia in addition to leaking the previously unrevealed blockbuster, GTA 6.


Health professionals deemed Kurtaj unfit to stand trial due to his acute autism. A jury later determined that he was responsible for the hacks, however, even if they were not allowed to determine criminal intent. The count found that Kurtaj managed to hack into Rockstar’s systems from his hotel room using only an Amazon Firestick. He brazenly posted in the company’s Slack at the time that he was a hacker, and later threatened to release the GTA 6 source code unless Rockstar negotiated with him over Telegram.


During sentencing, the BBC reports that a mental health assessment determined that Kurtaj “continued to express the intent to return to cybercrime as soon as possible,” calling him “highly motivated.” Court testimony also claimed he was violent while held in custody for the trial. As a result, he will now be held in a secure hospital for the rest of his life.


The GTA 6 hack was part of a wave of recent cyberattacks on big game studios and publishers that included, among others, CD Projekt Red, Capcom, and, most recently, Insomniac Games. While other hacks have exposed personal employee information, the GTA 6 security breach was limited to gameplay clips. Though they revealed aspects of the highly anticipated game while it was still a work in progress, Kurtaj’s lawyers recently argued that the success of GTA 6's official reveal trailer, now the most watched on YouTube ever, showed his attack was not as harmful to the game’s sales prospects as some, including Rockstar Games, might have originally suggested.