Two teenagers accused of masterminding hacks on Grand Theft Auto and Uber

Two UK youngsters had been accused of being key members of the infamous hacking group Lapsus$, with prosecutors alleging that the pair had been concerned in hacks on firms together with Nvidia Corp., Rockstar Video games Inc., and Uber Applied sciences Inc.

Arion Kurtaj, 18, and a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for authorized causes, had been hit with joint prices together with critical laptop misuse, blackmail and fraud in opposition to BT Group Plc, and Nvidia.

Kurtaj can also be individually accused of hacks into Uber, Rockstar Video games’s Grand Theft Auto online game, and fintech agency Revolut Ltd.

The pair are dealing with a felony trial in London with prosecutors telling a jury that Kurtaj hacked into Revolut, Uber and Rockstar Video games programs in September final 12 months whereas he was already on bail for the opposite prices.

The legal professionals stated Kurtaj “- along with different unknown members of Lapsus$ “- was accountable for stealing commercially-sensitive code and video of the most recent installment of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto sequence. It is alleged he posed as a contractor on the agency and was accountable for leaking the hack on boards and soliciting a ransom fee.

Kurtaj was discovered unfit to face trial as a result of medical causes. Meaning a jury will solely resolve whether or not he’s answerable for the alleged crimes, slightly than responsible of them. He can even keep away from jail ought to he be discovered liable. The trial is ready to final 8 weeks.

A lawyer for Kurtaj did not instantly reply to a request for a remark.

The 17-year-old pleaded responsible to 2 prices regarding the BT hacks however not responsible to the others.

Nvidia Hack, SIM Swapping

Prosecutors additionally declare the 2 teenagers collectively hacked into Nvidia in February 2022 by seizing management of two contractors accounts. The pair allegedly gained entry to delicate firm information together with a few of the software program constructing blocks of the corporate’s merchandise.

The hackers stole as a lot as one terrabyte of knowledge from Nvidia and publicly launched some, prosecutors stated. They then demanded a ransom fee, threatening to launch the remainder on-line if Nvidia did not comply, they added.

In the meantime, each teenagers allegedly hacked into the servers of BT’s EE community between July and November 2021 and threatened to launch supply code until a ransom was paid. Additionally they launched into SIM swap frauds that drained a number of clients cryptocurrency and financial institution accounts, in accordance with prosecutors.

The pair weren’t simply enjoying “juvenile pranks on-line” however had been utilizing a “very fashionable felony technique trying to earn money” from the companies, the legal professionals instructed the jury.

“Having hacked these firms, the group then tried to blackmail them and threatened to publish confidential materials on-line until their calls for had been met,” stated Kevin Barry, the prosecution’s lawyer. “Additionally they used a few of the materials which they requested through the hacks for fraudulent functions.”

Prosecutors stated police and investigators managed to hyperlink the hacks to the youngsters by means of IP addresses linked to varied e mail addresses, cell units, and Telegram messaging platform accounts. The kids additionally often boasted on-line concerning the hacks.

Kurtaj is “extremely competent and a genius” however “he is a teenage lad and he cannot resist bragging,” Barry stated.