GTA 6 hack: UK teen hacker suspect arrested by City of London Police, Rockstar hires for new security role, internet asks: what will happen to the leaker?

GTA 6 hack

The GTA 6 hack has dominated headlines over the past week, and now a 17-year-old from the UK has been arrested as the suspected hacker. Here’s what we know about what’s happened so far – and what could happen to the leaker.

What happened with the GTA 6 leak and who has been arrested?

On September 18th 2022, a leak was uploaded to the GTAForums by a user known as ‘teapotuberhacker’, featuring almost an hour of in-game work-in-progress footage of Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6) across some 90 videos.

It shows off a setting that looks like Miami, with various in-game tests, level layouts, character animations and audio, including those of the seemingly main characters Lucia and Jason.

The hacker said they obtained files from publisher Rockstar Games’ internal Slack groups, and that they also have access to GTA 6’s source code – as well as GTA 5’s.

It’s believed that the hacker is part of the ‘Lapsus$’ hacker group, which has breached other big companies like Uber, Microsoft, Samsung, Nvidia, Ubisoft and more.

On the evening of September 22nd, City of London Police said they had arrested a 17-year-old UK teenager from Oxfordshire, which some have linked to the GTA 6 hacker suspect. He’s also apparently been investigated by the FBI.

The hacker had apparently tried to ‘negotiate a deal’ with Take-Two, implying the teenager would agree to not leak the source code, in exchange for money.

They said: ” If you are an employee of Rockstar or Take 2 and you’re trying to contact me, send me a message or you can email me from your corporate email address. I will try to read all these replies soon – I am looking to negotiate a deal.”

This purported blackmail could have further consequences if the hacker is charged and sentenced, which we’ll come onto later in this article.

Take-Two’s share price also took a tumble over the past week, following the hack, from $123.16 on Friday September 16th 2022 to $109.17 on Friday September 23rd.

Rockstar’s response to the GTA 6 leak

Rockstar published a statement on Twitter on September 19th, admitting that early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto had been illegally accessed and downloaded.

It did say that it does not anticipate “any disruption to our live game services nor any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects”.

Rockstar added: “We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way. Our work on the next GTA will continue as planned.”

Rockstar also began blocking responses to its other tweets following the incident.

Take-Two also began issuing takedowns of videos showing the GTA 6 leak and got links removed from the likes of the GTAForums and subreddit. It said it had “already taken steps to isolate and contain this incident”. 

On September 23rd, Rockstar Games listed an ‘Investigation Analyst’ job ad on UK-based esports and video game industry jobs site Hitmarker, as it looks to tighten its security.

The role will involve responding to ’emergency situations and security incidents’, assisting in investigations and monitoring intelligence on threats.

The job ad states: “Rockstar is looking for a dedicated analyst to assist in driving our various security and HR initiatives. The successful candidate is committed to keeping our games and services fun for our players through defense against cheaters, hackers, exploiters, and any and all troublemakers.

“If you consider yourself an expert and champion in open source Intelligence, various types of investigations, monitoring and preparing reports on individual subjects then this may be the job for you.”

What punishment could the GTA 6 hacker receive? What will happen to the leaker?

GTA 5 cheats

Now that the alleged hacker has been arrested, they will be questioned and could be charged.

What will the consequences be for the alleged GTA 6 hacker?

This post on the LegalAdviceUK subreddit saw many discussing the situation.

“Section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 says that a person commits an offence if he obtains unauthorised access to computer data,” said Reddit user for_shaaame.

They said the idea that the hacker wanted to negotiate a deal with Rockstar likely counts as blackmail, which falls under section 21 of the Theft Act 1968, and in this case section 2 of the Computer Misuse Act.

The maximum penalties for these offences is two years in prison for unauthorised access to computer material, four years for unauthorised access with intent to commit a further offence, and 14 years for blackmail. Bear in mind, these are the maximum sentences for adults, and as the hacker is 17 years old, they are a minor, and will be dealt with by the youth justice system. There’s more info on sentences for those aged under 18 in the UK on the website here.

If the teen’s actions are considered a ‘grave crime’, they could have their case sent to the Crown Court and they may receive the same maximum sentence as an adult.

The story is of course ongoing and we’ll endeavour to update this article as further updates develop.

Finally, and for more info, credit to MrBossFTW on YouTube who has produced an insightful video into the GTA 6 hack situation here.

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