An arrest Thursday night of a 17-year-old boy in Britain may have led to the capture of one of the biggest video game leakers in recent history.
Police in London have confirmed the arrest of a suspect from Oxford a social media channel used regularly for police arrest updates and clarified the suspect’s age, a vague allegation of “suspected hacking” and that the investigation was being coordinated with the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and in particular the National Cyber Crime Unit.
That upload was followed hours later by a report by the American independent journalist Matthew Keys claiming the arrest revolved around the recent theft and distribution of unreleased assets from British video game studio Rockstar North. This report cites “sources” who claim that the FBI was involved in this investigation and that the data seized also included portions of a massive Uber-related breach. Keys’ report, at the time of going to press, was not corroborated by major news outlets in either the US or the UK.
The game leak in question was among the most high-profile in recent history, as it essentially contained the world premiere of the highly anticipated video game. Grand Theft Auto VI. Until this week’s leak, fans of the show were left with rumors and hearsay about its potential setting (a Miami-like city that resembles the show’s Vice City) and its protagonists (a pair of “Bonnie and Clyde” protagonists, including the first which can be played). woman in a main line GTA game). Both rumors were confirmed by the leak, which Rockstar eventually confirmed was legitimate and came from a 3-year-old version of the game.
Before Thursday’s arrest, GTA VI The Gameplay leaker initially claimed involvement in a recent massive Uber data breach as well, and Uber publicly blamed hacking collective Lapsus$ for the intrusion. Previously, at least one Oxford teenager had been linked to Lapsus$’s hacking efforts by a BBC report. British authorities did not confirm the veracity of the report at the time due to confidentiality rules regarding juvenile suspects. Thus, while GTA VI leak could be linked to Lapsus$’s efforts, that connection remains unconfirmed at press time.
Ars Technica’s Dan Goodin previously reported on Lapsus$’s hacking efforts as they were chronicled by members on their official Telegram chat channels. Many of the group’s methods, at least as publicly disclosed, took advantage of vulnerabilities in standard “two-factor” multi-factor authentication systems — which typically revolve around less secure backup login options that a attacker can exploit them. The GTA VI The leaker previously suggested that they gained unauthorized access to Rockstar’s source code by tapping into the company’s Slack chat interface, but as of press time, it’s unclear if that too was a matter of an “MFA bomb” to trick an employee into reluctantly accept something like a phone call. call prompt.
If this week’s arrest in Oxford is related to GTA VI leak, that timeline would be much more accelerated than we’ve seen in any other memorable European source code leak. German hacker Axel Gembe has finally told the story of his apprehension after breaching Valve’s computer systems to download source code into Half life 2. That raid and subsequent arrest came about eight months after the leak was initially reported.