How the Infamous 'Buy Bitcoin' GTA 6 Game Trailer Was Leaked



New details are coming to light about the person/persons responsible for the leaked Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer that was posted to Twitter in December 2023 with a “Buy $BTC” watermark.

On Thursday, pseudonymous internet sleuth ZachXBT shared new information about the possible identity of the leaker, saying that the person in question swiped the official trailer from YouTube via unauthorized access. It was then shared via Twitter a day before the planned release, but with the Bitcoin plug overlaid on top.

“The GTA 6 trailer was leaked by a threat actor who goes by the alias Skenkir,” ZachXBT wrote on Twitter this week. “He purchased access to a YouTube admin panel which allowed him to view the unlisted video early.”

Skenkir, ZachXBT added, has also been involved in over 40 high-profile SIM swap attacks, including those against Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, musician Steve Aoki, and prominent crypto critic Peter Schiff. ZachXBT shared alleged screenshots of online interactions from the leaker ahead of the trailer leak.

ZachXBT did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.

In December, an anonymous Twitter account named “Gta6trailerleak” shared the leaked trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6. Franchise developer Rockstar Games had planned to release the first trailer for the massively anticipated game the following day, but was forced to release it early due to the modified, low-resolution leak.

After the leak of the GTA 6 trailer, YouTube reportedly launched an internal investigation to find out if the source of the leak came via the video platform’s backend.

“From what I can gather, YouTube has investigated employees breaching their contractual agreements on two different occasions in the past 18 months due to employees accessing content on the backend,” Insider Gaming’s Tom Henderson wrote last week.

If true, the GTA 6 trailer leak would be the latest in a string of privacy and security issues at the tech giant, including a Google employee accessing and publicly leaking private videos on the Nintendo YouTube account.

Game leaks are nothing new; in fact, the games announced at the recent Sony PlayStation State of Play streaming event were leaked ahead of time. Reports of accounts being accessed on YouTube due to backdoor access date back to 2013, according to a report by Dexerto.

YouTube and Rockstar Games did not immediately respond to comment requests from Decrypt.

Edited by Andrew Hayward





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