GTA 6: what is the risk of the hacker who leaked the images of the future game from Rockstar Games?

Game News GTA 6: what is the risk of the hacker who leaked the images of the future game from Rockstar Games?

GTA 6 is probably the most anticipated game in the West. So when more than 90 gameplay videos leak in advance, it’s chaos for Rockstar. Who is the hacker and what does he risk?

Summary

  • The first tracks on the hacker
  • What can he risk?

Impossible to miss in the last few hours: the absolutely colossal leak of Grand Theft Auto VI which is already thought to be the biggest in the history of video games. If leaks are commonplace, here we are still talking about more than 90 videos scattered on the networks, possibly obtained on a work discussion of the Slack network. Nearly an hour of content based on an old version of what appears to be Grand Theft Auto VI, running on the previous generation has therefore been made public, enough to bring down the morale of Rockstar employees. And then a few hours later, the situation takes an even more dramatic turn when a publication on the GTAForum site posted by the hacker(s) suggests that the motivation behind these massive leaks is financial:

Ok, so this all unexpectedly went viral. I woke up with more than 3000 private messages on Telegram (encrypted communication application, editor’s note). If you are a Rockstar or Take 2 employee trying to contact me, send me a private message on Telegram (…) or send me an email (…). I’ll try to read this quickly, I’m looking to broker a deal.

Reading the message, we quickly understand that the hacker is trying to extract money from the American publisher under penalty of publishing more content. Following this, another message indicated that the source code of GTA V was for sale with documentation on GTA 6. Several updates have taken place since: in the night, we learned in particular that the code of GTA V would have sold for around $100,000 before a final twist; For his part, the pirate indicated that the code of GTA 6 “was no longer” for sale, adding that the buyer of the code of GTA V had actually been taken in by a third person.

The first tracks on the hacker

On Twitter, Rockstar published a first press release after having multiplied DMCA complaints on dozens of leaked contents: “At this time, we do not anticipate any disruption to our live game services or any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects.“. And to add:

Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto will continue as planned and we remain more committed than ever to providing you, our players, with an experience that lives up to your expectations.

For the time being, nothing has been mentioned as to the measures that will be taken against the hacker. However, it is difficult to imagine that he will emerge unscathed from this affair. Especially since efforts are redoubled to lift the veil on its identity: According to the administrator of the Breached hacking forum, he is one of the leaders of a team of hackers called Lapsus$. Responding to the name of White, the 16-year-old boy reportedly sent proof of his guilt to the Telegram instant messaging app. And if even various sources are to be believed, White also took the time to hack Uber earlier this week as well as Microsoft and Samsung some time ago. The details don’t stop there: it seems that the hacker was already arrested in December 2021 because of his links with the Lapsus$ group. His home was searched on April 1, but without conclusive results. Obviously, these statements should be taken with a grain of salt.

GTA 6: what is the risk of the hacker who leaked the images of the future game from Rockstar Games?

What can he risk?

Stealing source code from big publishers seems to be commonplace in recent years. Already in 2021, CD Projekt suffered a major theft of its data.

It’s a bit of the number one asset of video game publishers and a symbolic catch. Hackers always put them on sale for huge sums. The starting price for that of ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ was 1 million dollars, underlines Gérôme Billois. Which is very expensive for the use that can be made of it in practice: bypassing the game’s anti-copy system, finding loopholes to be able to cheat, especially in online games, etc. – Gérôme Billois, cybersecurity expert at the firm Wavestone, for Les Echos.

Anyway, if the identity of the author is proven, he risks very big, namely a big fine and a good prison sentence. To find lines of comparison, let’s go back in time, and more particularly in 2003. On October 2 of that same year, the source code for Half-Life 2 was leaked on the net.. Perhaps you still remember how monumental the leak was, making a development version of the game fully playable. Obviously, for Valve, it’s panic and the studio finds itself singled out for its security breaches. The game is postponed and there is a loss of 250 million dollars. It is a member of the group of hackers, myg0t, who was at the origin of this huge leak. Alex Gembe, his real name, was of course picked up by the armed special forces and given a two-year suspended prison sentence. A lenient decision, in particular because of a difficult childhood.

The addition could have been much saltier. In 2020, the American justice sentenced the hacker Ryan Hernandez to three years in prison. The man had revealed confidential information about Nintendo after stealing the access codes from an employee of the Japanese company. He also had to pay the sum of 259,323 dollars to the publisher. The sentence for the GTA 6 hack will therefore depend on many parameters, if at least the hacker is flushed out. Rockstar is no joke with the hacking of its data. In 2019, the publisher managed to charge a man $ 150,000 for creating cheat software in GTA Online that allowed to collect virtual money on the game.

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