What happened to the hacker behind gaming’s biggest GTA 6 leak?

Fariha Bhatti • September 28, 2022 12:03 pm

The massive Grand Theft Auto 6 leaks sabotaged Rockstar’s 11 years of labor, but the accused hacker is on the police’s radar.

The September 18 GTA 6 leaker rocked the gaming community with a file laden with 3 GB of data. The substantial leak was marked as one of the biggest data breaches in gaming, revealing dozens and dozens of video clips of the highly-anticipated open-world game.

Despite player enthusiasm, Rockstar has been tight-lipped about the game’s details, keeping everything from characters to release date under the wraps. So, the leak was naturally a massive disaster for the developer. 

The jaw-dropping deed wasn’t carried out by a mastermind with decades of experience. Instead, the hacker is a British teenager from Oxfordshire that’s allegedly been behind multiple similar jobs.

GTA 6 has been deep in development for over seven years now. Rockstar has been hard at work on its flagship franchise’s next installment since 2014. However, it wasn’t until 2022 that credible leaks regarding GTA 6 started appearing. About 90 clips from the game slipped through the cracks, unveiling the game’s core framework, dialogues, location, and theme. 

Teenager held in Youth Detention Center for hacking

GTA 6

This massive leak wasn’t one that you could just slip under the rug. The police quickly caught the tail end of the event and linked the patterns with similar leaks in the past. The City of London Police arrested the suspected hacker as part of an investigation with the National Cyber Crime Unit on September 22. Since then, a lot about the young hacker who allegedly perpetrated the massive leak has been uncovered.

The teenager was charged with two counts of violating his bail and two counts of violating Britain’s computer misuse law. He has since has denied the latter, but did plead guilty to breaching bail conditions, according to Eurogamer.

“The 17-year-old who appeared at Highbury Corner Youth Court on 24th September has pleaded guilty to breaching his bail conditions and not guilty to computer misuse,” City of London detective inspector Michael O’Sullivan said.

Who is the hacker behind GTA 6 leaks? 

The youth accused in the GTA 6 matter isn’t operating alone, according to Uber and The Desk’s Matthew Keys. The 17-year-old is likely affiliated with a hacking group called Lapsus$, Uber claimed. 

Uber rolled out a new blog, claiming that the same actor could be behind their recent data breach via stolen data from an employee. The ridesharing company further revealed that they’re in close coordination with the FBI and US Department of Justice to get hold of the culprit. 

“We believe that this attacker (or attackers) are affiliated with a hacking group called Lapsus$, which has been increasingly active over the last year or so. There are also reports over the weekend that this same actor breached video game maker Rockstar Games,” Uber said at the time of the cyber attacks. 

The Desk has also revealed the teenagers’ connection with hacks at Microsoft, Okta, and Nvidia. At the time of writing, the teenage mastermind has been remanded to a youth detention center. More extensive investigation is underway, as this likely isn’t the hacker’s first rodeo. More arrests should be expected, reports say. 

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