Hacker behind GTA 6 leak will be confined to "a secure hospital for life" due to his "intent to return to cybercrime as soon as possible"

(Image credit: Rockstar)

The 18-year-old hacker charged with breaking into Rockstar's data and leaking at least 90 videos worth of GTA 6 development materials has been sentenced by a UK court to indefinite life in a hospital prison. 

The BBC reports that Arion Kurtaj, who's described as acutely autistic, "will remain at a secure hospital for life unless doctors deem him no longer a danger." This is notably distinct from a sentence of life in prison – which doesn't always run until the actual end of one's life, either – but his sentence is still effectively indefinite. A mental health assessment noted that he "continued to express the intent to return to cybercrime as soon as possible. He is highly motivated." 

In July, Kurtaj was deemed psychiatrically unfit for trial, shifting the jury's focus away from a standard verdict of guilty or not guilty, and toward determining whether the alleged hacks were actually committed. 

Not a month later, we learned that Kurtaj's hack on Rockstar was carried out in a hotel room, well after his laptop was confiscated following a previous hack, using an Amazon Firestick, a hotel TV, and a mobile phone. He was quickly re-arrested. 

Kurtaj was accused alongside a 17-year-old member of the same hacking group, Lapsus$, who was likewise accused of blackmail, fraud, and charges under the Computer Misuse Act. Rockstar was far from Lapsus$'s only target, with Nvidia to Microsoft to phone companies reporting hacks. 

In addition to "thousands of hours of staff time," the BBC reports that Rockstar claimed the hack cost it $5 million. 

The GTA 6 reveal trailer ended up being leaked as well, just a day before its planned release. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.