While in police detention, the 18-year-old used a Fire TV stick to hack Rockstar Games from a hotel.
According to The BBC, a London judge has sentenced the 18-year-old hacker who broke into Rockstar Games and leaked Grand Theft Auto VI footage to an indefinite hospitalization. Kurtaj, who was a key member of the Lasus$ international hacking group, broke into Rockstar’s servers while under police custody from a Travelodge hotel, using only an Amazon Fire TV Stick, smartphone, keyboard, and mouse.
Kurtaj’s mental health assessment suggested he “continued to express the intent to return to cybercrime,” which led the judge to conclude 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. As a result, Kurtaj was declared unfit to stand trial due to his acute autism. Following the judgment, the jury was instructed to determine whether he committed the alleged crimes, not whether he had criminal intent.
The success of the GTA 6 trailer, which had 128 million views in its first four days, according to Kurtaj’s counsel, negated the possibility that his breach caused significant damage, despite Rockstar’s assertion that it cost them $5 million and hundreds of hours of staff effort.
The 17-year-old hacker, who was found guilty in the same trial as Kurtaj, was sentenced to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order under “intense supervision,” which included a ban on using a VPN. The hacker was accused of working with Kurtaj and other Lapsus$ members to infiltrate Nvidia and phone company BT/EE, steal data, and demand a $4 million ransom.
It is unclear what kind of payoff the hackers got from the ransom requests, if any, as none of the affected companies have admitted to paying up. Authorities believe other “digital bandits” in the group—suspected to be primarily teenagers in the UK and Brazil—are still at large. The two accomplices are the first members of Lapsus$ to be found guilty.