Rockstar Games had its ‘Grand Theft Auto 6’ release was hacked by a teenager using an Amazon Firestick, a hotel TV and a mobile phone.
The revelation comes after more than 90 videos and screenshots from ‘GTA6’ surfaced online last September, ahead of the game’s public reveal.
Rockstar Games confirmed the “early development footage” had been “illegally accessed and downloaded” and later that month, a teenager in Oxfordshire was arrested in relation to the hack.
In July, it was confirmed 18-year-old Arion Kurtaj would face 12 offences, including six charges under the Computer Misuse Act, three blackmail charges, and two counts of fraud but was deemed “unfit” to stand trial.
Earlier this week, he was sentenced to an “indefinite hospital order” with a judge ruling that his skills and desire to commit cyber-crime meant he remained a high risk to the public.
He will remain at a secure hospital until he is no longer deemed a danger, and his involvement as a key member of international “digital bandit” crime gang Lapsus$ was also confirmed.
Kurtaj was sentenced alongside a seventeen-year-old accomplice, with the Lapsus$ members involved in the $4 million (R73m) ransom of data stolen from Nvidia and BT/EE.
A jury was told Kurtaj was in police protection at a Travelodge hotel when he hacked Rockstar, and at the time, he was on bail for hacking both Nvidia and BT/EE.
Police had confiscated his laptop, but Kurtaj managed to steal 90 clips of ‘GTA6’ using an Amazon Firestick, his hotel TV and a mobile phone.
He used Rockstar’s internal Slack channel to blackmail the company before sharing clips and the source code online, via the username TeaPotUberHacker.
Despite his defence lawyer arguing that the huge success of the ‘GTA6’ reveal earlier this year meant that Kurtaj’s crimes had little impact, Rockstar claimed his actions had cost the company more than $5m and thousands of hours of labour.