In a significant turn of events, Arion Kurtaj, an 18-year-old hacker associated with the group Lapsus$, has been declared mentally unfit for trial. The teenager had been charged with carrying out a series of high-profile cyber attacks on numerous corporations including Uber, Nvidia, and the renowned video game developer, Rockstar Games.
The teen hacker came into the limelight when he leaked substantial amounts of information from the yet-to-be-announced video game Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6) when he was just 17. He now faces a series of charges: three counts of blackmail, two counts of fraud, and six offences under the Computer Misuse Act. Interestingly, Kurtaj reportedly infiltrated Rockstar’s security systems, threatening to expose their source code through a Slack message addressed to all staff members.
In the same case, another 17-year-old, who has not been publicly named, has also been indicted on related charges. However, it is understood that this teenager had no involvement in the hacking of Rockstar Games.
Kurtaj’s trial will be anything but ordinary due to the recent psychiatric assessment that deemed him unfit to stand trial. In a unique procedural twist, the role of the jury will not be to establish his guilt, but rather to determine whether Kurtaj committed the charged acts.
Earlier, Kurtaj had admitted to one count of fraud, two violations under the Computer Misuse Act, and breaching bail conditions. This admission, along with the current charges, paints a picture of a young man deeply entangled in a world of high-stakes cybercrime.
The repercussions of these cyber attacks were most vividly seen last September when a vast leak of work-in-progress materials from GTA 6 was revealed, showcasing over 90 screenshots and videos. Rockstar Games has since acknowledged the breach, admitting to a “network intrusion,” and expressed their profound disappointment at the fallout of this incident. As this case proceeds, the global tech and gaming industry will be watching closely, understanding the growing threats and evolving nature of cybercrime.