According to court documents filed in the UK, a British news publication has reported that Arion Kurtaj, an 18-year-old individual, was discovered "in the act" when officials from the City of London Police conducted a search at a Travelodge hotel.
This search took place in the town of Bicester, located in south-central England. Kurtaj was already under bail following his arrest in March 2022 for hacking Nvidia, a chip manufacturer. During the search, authorities came across a digital media player that was connected to the television in Kurtaj's hotel room. This setup enabled Kurtaj to illicitly access cloud computing services using a keyboard, mouse, and smartphone.
In this scenario, the arrangement enabled him to outmaneuver significant entities such as the global neobank Revolut, rideshare service Uber, tech giant Microsoft, and game publisher Rockstar Games.
Among his exploits, Kurtaj's attack on Rockstar Games was particularly audacious. This was not only due to the boldness he exhibited during the hacking process but also because he carried out this endeavor while on bail for previous hacking-related offenses. In a daring move, he even communicated through the company's Slack platform, identifying himself as an "attacker" rather than an employee.
Kurtaj asserted that he had managed to acquire all the data pertaining to GTA VI, and he went on to announce that he would make the source code public unless Rockstar Games engaged with him through the messaging app Telegram. While it remains uncertain whether the game publisher reached out to Kurtaj, a substantial amount of information about the game surfaced online the following year.
Details including the female co-star and the game's setting in Miami: Vice City were leaked, although Kurtaj's direct involvement hasn't been definitively confirmed. The leak was so significant that Rockstar Games, which had remained silent for years regarding the upcoming GTA VI, eventually acknowledged the game's existence on the X platform (formerly Twitter) in February 2022.
The leak was extensive, so if you need to catch up on any of the information, I suggest reviewing Kotaku's article covering all the insights gained about GTA VI since the hack transpired.
Operating as a prominent member of the "digital bandits" collective known as Lapsus$, Kurtaj was not a solitary actor. According to a report by the BBC, an unnamed 17-year-old individual was also apprehended due to his involvement in these hacking activities.
While additional members of this cybercrime group, purportedly spanning both Brazil and the UK, are believed to still be at large, authorities have managed to arrest the two teenagers for their alleged roles in these criminal acts.