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Prosecuting Cyber Criminals

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The next war will be fought through technology as one can invade through the use of technology. We have seen hackers infiltrate foreign nation’s infrastructure in an attempt to disrupt water, electricity, or the power grid itself. However, a recent case involving a teenager shows that governments are still scrambling to determine how they will prosecute cyber criminals.

Arion Kurtaj is an 18-year-old man who joined the elite hacking group LAPSUS$. Now, this kid has a true talent for hacking. He managed to infiltrate Nvidia. He hacked into BT/EE (a mobile provider in the UK) and demanded a ransom of $4 million in crypto. While in police custody, Kuraj pulled off his final stunt by hacking into the gaming company Rockstar using a hotel TV, a cell phone, and an Amazon Firestick. Kurtaj proceeded to release clips of the highly anticipated but unreleased video game GTA6. Rockstar was forced to pay out $5 million in response.

Now, the UK authorities are claiming that he is no longer fit to remain in society. Kurtaj happens to have autism, so the judge in his case sentenced Kurtaj to LIFE in a mental institution. His entire life is over at 18 as they are grouping him in with the most dangerous members of our society. The psychiatrist in charge of his assessment said the young man “continued to express the intent to return to cybercrime as soon as possible. He is highly motivated.”

A life sentence in a mental institution for hacking is absolutely absurd. Rapists and murderers spend less time locked away. He is a thief, but labeling him a domestic terrorist is unwarranted. Governments are terrified of geniuses who can break into the system. I have no doubt that the UK will attempt to use this man for their own cyber warfare if they can force him to comply.