In 2022, Arion Kurtaj, an 18-year-old hacker known as “teapotuberhacker”, leaked confidential material from Rockstar Games’ GTA VI. Now, a British court has ruled that Kurtaj must remain in hospital indefinitely. The decision is based on a medical assessment that points to his extreme autism, which makes it impossible for him to face a conventional trial.
This condition suggests that Kurtaj could spend the rest of his life in the hospital unless he is deemed no longer a danger. Kurtaj was part of the hacker group Lapsus$ and already had a history of hacking NVIDIA and BT/EE. While in a hotel under police protection, he used an Amazon Fire TV Stick and a cell phone to access Rockstar Games’ servers and steal 90 GTA 6 videos, which he then posted on a forum.
This act cost Rockstar Games an estimated loss of $5 million and “thousands of hours of staff time.” Despite this incident, the first GTA VI trailer, released more than a year later, was a resounding success, reaching more than 115 million views on YouTube. During the trial, Kurtaj’s defence argued that the success of the trailer minimized the impact of the hack, but Judge Lees emphasized that there were “real victims and real harm” because of his actions.