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Busted: UK police arrest 17 year-old hacker in connection with GTA 6 leaks

Official GTA 5 artwork showing a teen flipping the bird at his sister
(Image credit: Rockstar)
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UK police have arrested a 17-year-old in Oxfordshire (opens in new tab) as part of an ongoing police hacking investigation. According to sources spoken to by ex-Reuters journalist Matt Keys, the arrest is directly related to the recent hack on Rockstar Games and subsequent historic leak of GTA 6 materials (opens in new tab), and possibly last week's intrusion on Uber, too.

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The news comes a few days after Uber revealed that the hack on its systems—which the Rockstar hacker also took credit for—was being investigated by the FBI (opens in new tab). Keys reports that the 17-year-old's arrest by the City of London Police was "done in concert with an investigation conducted by the FBI". He adds that the police are expected to release more information on the arrest later today, and that a statement from the FBI is also possible.

Earlier this week, Uber said (opens in new tab) it believed the hack on its systems was carried out by an individual or group "affiliated with a hacking group called Lapsus$," which has also been tied to attacks on companies as big as Microsoft (opens in new tab), Samsung, and Cisco. Those suspicions may have been well-founded: Keys' source says that the suspect in custody is "believed to be connected to a group identifying itself as 'Lapsus$'".

There's a pre-existing history between Lapsus$ and teen hackers. It was only this March that a 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of being a "multi-millionaire cyber-criminal" and leader of the group. Whether that arrest is related to this one is still unclear at this point.

Those are all the details that have been made public, pending the release of further statements by the UK authorities or the FBI, but it's of course notable how closely the details of the arrest echo suspicions and allegations turned up by previous reporting on the Rockstar hack.

Although it's tempting to jump to conclusions, details remain scant and the arrested teen has yet to be charged with anything. It's also unknown whether these hacks were the result of a lone wolf or a group of hackers. Someone claiming—fairly convincingly—to be behind the Uber hacks (and thus the Rockstar leaks, if it is the same person behind both) said they were 18 years old, according to the NYT (opens in new tab). It's hardly beyond belief that a teenager could lie about their age (or about being responsible for things they didn't do), but it highlights that many details remain murky at such an early stage.

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News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was far too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. Since then, his writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.