In movies, a hacker usually sits at a large desk with the latest technology in front of them. In real life, all you need is an Amazon Fire TV Stick, smartphone, keyboard and mouse to steal and leak clips from a game. Grand Theft Auto IV. That’s what Arian Kurtaj of the hacking group Lapsus$ did while out on bail after claiming he had already hacked Nvidia. BBC reports. 18-year-old Rockstar Games infiltrated, which created GTA VI, going so far as to declare himself an “attacker” on the company’s Slack channel. Crime scene? UK Travelodge hotel officials accommodated him.
Kurtaj was moved to a hotel after hackers “dogged” him and published detailed information about him and his family online, compromising his security. He wasn’t allowed internet access there – he used a Fire TV stick to get around.
More details of Kurtaj’s illegal stunt were made public following a seven-week trial, and he was found guilty of hacking Rockstar, Neobank Revolut and Uber. A 17-year-old was also convicted but, unlike Kurtaj, is still on bail. Both men were autistic, and psychiatrists deemed them unfit for trial. This means that jurors will only weigh crimes if they believe they were committed, not if they were committed with criminal intent.
Lapsus$, referred to in court as a group of “digital bandits”, is believed to consist mostly of teenagers from Brazil and the UK – Kurtaj and an unnamed 17-year-old were two of seven members arrested in the UK. Between 2021 and 2022, Lapsus$ allegedly hacked Samsung, T-Mobile and Microsoft. Although the group has demanded ransom, it is unclear how much it earned from these exploits.