Teenager accused of blackmailing Rockstar Games over GTA 6

Jul 16, 2023, 12:20 PM UTC
3 mins read
Teenager accused of blackmailing Rockstar Games over GTA 6

In a shocking turn of events, an 18-year-old teenager, Arion Kurtaj, has been accused of hacking into multiple high-profile companies, including Rockstar Games, the developer of the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6 / GTA VI). The teenager, formerly part of the Lapsus$ hacking group, leaked several confidential assets from the yet-to-be-announced game. As the legal proceedings unfold, it has been revealed that Kurtaj has been deemed unfit to stand trial, raising questions about the consequences of his actions and the cybersecurity measures in place.

Arion Kurtaj is facing trial for a total of 12 charges, which include three counts of blackmail, two counts of fraud, and six counts under the Computer Misuse Act. According to Reuters, Kurtaj successfully breached Rockstar Games’ security systems and sent a threatening message via Slack to all Rockstar staff, asserting that the source code of Grand Theft Auto 6 would be released if certain demands were not met. This act of extortion added an additional layer of complexity to the already grave charges against the teenager.

Another teenager, who remains unnamed due to their age, has also been implicated in the series of cybercrimes. This individual, who was 17 at the time, faces charges of two counts of blackmail, two counts of fraud, and three charges under the Computer Misuse Act. However, it is important to note that this second teenager is not believed to have been involved in hacking Rockstar Games specifically.

In a significant twist to the case, Reuters reports that psychiatrists have assessed Arion Kurtaj as unfit to stand trial. This assessment implies that Kurtaj may not possess the mental capacity to fully comprehend the charges against them or participate in legal proceedings effectively. As a result, the jury will not determine Kurtaj’s guilt but rather ascertain whether the accused committed the alleged acts or not.

Prior to the current trial, Arion Kurtaj had already pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and two offenses under the Computer Misuse Act. Furthermore, they had also violated their bail conditions. These guilty pleas and breaches demonstrate Kurtaj’s involvement in criminal activities and further complicate the legal proceedings surrounding the high-profile case.

Last September, the gaming community was stunned by a massive leak of work-in-progress development materials related to Grand Theft Auto 6. This leak included over 90 screenshots and videos, providing an unauthorized glimpse into the game’s early stages of development. Rockstar Games promptly addressed the incident, acknowledging a network intrusion that resulted in the theft of confidential footage. The company expressed deep disappointment over the breach and the subsequent leak.

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