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Hacker from Lapsus$ Targeting Uber and Grand Theft Auto Developer Ordered for Indefinite Detainment

Introduction to the Hacking Case

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Arion Kurtaj, an 18-year-old member of the Lapsus$ hacking group, has been sentenced to indefinite detention in a hospital. This sentence comes following his involvement in high-profile hacking incidents, including attacks on Uber and Revolut.

Kurtaj’s Cybercrime Spree

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In September 2022, Kurtaj embarked on a solo cybercrime spree while on police bail for earlier offenses. His targets included fintech firm Revolut and Uber, causing significant damage and data breaches.

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Impact on Revolut and Uber

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Kurtaj accessed information of about 5,000 Revolut customers and caused nearly $3 million in damages to Uber. His actions had substantial financial and security implications for these companies.

Hacking of Rockstar Games

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Kurtaj’s criminal activities extended to hacking Rockstar Games. He threatened to release the source code for the company’s anticipated “Grand Theft Auto” sequel, compromising the game’s development.

Evidence Presented in Court

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During the trial at Southwark Crown Court in London, jurors were shown clips of the upcoming “Grand Theft Auto” installment. These clips were part of the data Kurtaj had illegally obtained and shared online.

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Kurtaj’s Fitness to Stand Trial

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Diagnosed with autism, Kurtaj was assessed by psychiatrists as unfit to stand trial. Consequently, the jury was tasked with determining whether he committed the acts, rather than delivering a guilty verdict.

Previous Hacking Incidents

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Prior to these offenses, Kurtaj had engaged in similar activities, including hacking Britain’s largest broadband provider BT Group and mobile operator EE in 2021, demanding a hefty ransom.

Nvidia Hack and Data Release

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In February 2022, Kurtaj hacked chipmaker Nvidia, obtaining a significant amount of data. He released a portion of this data and threatened to publish more, escalating the severity of his cybercrimes.

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Lapsus$ Involvement

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Kurtaj and a 17-year-old, also involved in Lapsus$ but unnamed due to legal reasons, were key players in the group’s activities. Their roles were highlighted during the trial proceedings.

Charges and Verdicts

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In August, a jury found Kurtaj had committed 12 offenses, including blackmail and computer misuse. The 17-year-old was also found guilty of several charges related to the Nvidia hack and BT Group incident.

Sentencing and Judge’s Remarks

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Judge Patricia Lees stated that Kurtaj remained a risk for committing further offenses and sentenced him to indefinite detention. The 17-year-old received a youth rehabilitation order with supervision.

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Police Comments and Conclusion

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Detective Chief Superintendent Amanda Horsburgh from the City of London Police commented on the case, noting it as an example of the online dangers facing young people. The case highlights the complex challenges of cybercrime in today’s digital age.

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