In a shocking revelation, an 18-year-old from Oxford, Arion Kurtaj, has been identified as a member of the notorious cybercrime group, Lapsus$. Another individual, a 17-year-old whose identity remains protected, was also implicated. The UK-based group, suspected of having Brazilian origins, is comprised mainly of tech-savvy teenagers.
Lapsus$ didn’t hold back when it came to choosing their targets. High-profile tech companies like Rockstar Games, Nvidia, and Uber have all been victims. Using Telegram as their communication platform, the group has been vocal about their exploits, taunting their victims in multiple languages, English and Portuguese.
The impact of these hacks has been considerable, especially for Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games. The unauthorised leaks about the much-anticipated Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6) resulted in a steep decline in Take-Two’s stock prices. While companies have been tight-lipped about any financial losses, this incident has undoubtedly sent ripples through the gaming industry. For GTA 6 fans, although there’s little information available apart from the leaks, Take-Two Interactive suggests that the release might not happen until 2024 at the earliest.
Both implicated teenagers are currently facing legal ramifications. Kurtaj, deemed mentally unfit for trial by healthcare professionals, is presently detained. The 17-year-old is out on bail, awaiting further legal proceedings. This case has prompted a broader investigation by the FBI, particularly focused on Take-Two Interactive.
The actions of Lapsus$ have not only attracted the attention of criminal investigators but also prompted U.S. cybersecurity agencies to reassess their defence mechanisms, particularly concerning young hackers.
Adding another layer to this intricate web, Brazilian authorities have recently arrested an individual suspected of involvement with Lapsus$. Could this mean the group’s activities span multiple countries?
The actions of the Lapsus$ group have far-reaching consequences, impacting not just individual companies but also putting a spotlight on the challenges of cybersecurity in an increasingly digital age. As legal consequences for the involved parties are yet to be determined, it’s clear that this incident has set a precedent that could have lasting effects on the gaming industry for years to come.