Young Cybercrime Genius, Lapsus, Faces Trial for Autism

The London Court has determined that 18-year-old Arion Kurtai, originally from Oxford, England, is one of the leaders of the Lapsus $ hacker group specializing in data extortion. Kurtai has been arrested twice in 2022 and is linked to multiple cybercrimes committed by the group.

Kurtai, who suffers from autism and has been deemed unable to attend court, stands accused of hacking the Revolut financial company, Uber aggregator, and Rockstar Games game developer. The jury will now determine his culpability in these alleged cybercrimes.

Following Kurtai’s arrest, the City of London Police received ransom demands from him and other Lapsus members targeting Revolut, Uber, and Rockstar Games, demanding millions of US dollars.

Under the alias “Teapotuberhacker” while under house arrest at a hotel, Kurtai released gameplay footage from the unreleased game Grand Theft Auto 6. Kurtai operated under more than 12 aliases during his hacking activities, including SIM swapping, through which he obtained over 300 BTC. However, Kurtai lost the majority of his earnings due to gambling or hacking of his own computer.

Kurtai is not the only teenager facing court charges related to Lapsus $. Another 17-year-old member of the group, who remains unnamed, and also suffers from autism, has already been convicted.

According to a report by the US government, Lapsus $ members utilized low-cost methods to identify vulnerabilities in US government infrastructure. The group paid up to $20,000 per week for access to a telecommunication provider platform, enabling the interception of phone numbers and receipt of disposable passwords for various accounts. The activities of Lapsus $ significantly decreased in September of last year following mass arrests of group members in the UK and Brazil.

The US Department of Homeland Security recently published a report analyzing the actions of the Lapsus $ hacker group. The report reveals that the group targeted numerous organizations with robust security using relatively simple methods such as SIM swapping. Lapsus $ is described as a loosely organized group of adolescents from the UK and Brazil. Their actions from 2021 to 2022 were driven by a desire for notoriety, money, or entertainment, employing both rudimentary and occasionally inventive hacking techniques.

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