Polish game developer CD Projekt RED (CDPR) announced earlier this week that it had been the victim of a ransomware hack. As part of the operation, the attackers stole internal documents and source code, which they threatened to sell if CDPR declined to pay the ransom. Cybersecurity experts now say that the hacking group has followed through and sold the stolen data for an undisclosed sum.
When it announced the hack, CDPR confirmed it would not pay any ransom. As part of the intrusion, the unknown perpetrators encrypted data in hopes of forcing CDPR to negotiate. However, the developer says it will simply restore backups and move forward. Naturally, the hackers sought to auction the stolen data online. Shortly thereafter, the source code from CDPR’s Gwent card game leaked, effectively confirming the hackers had the goods.
Several cybersecurity Twitter accounts that were monitoring the sale have now confirmed the auction has ended early. According to posts from a representative of the group, they received an offer from outside the hacking forum where the action was running. They decided to sell the data to this buyer and end the auction early. Before the mysterious outside offer, the hackers were asking for bids of $1 million or more with an eBay-style buy-it-now price of $7 million.
CDPR has not confirmed exactly what materials were stolen, but the cache of data is believed to include source code for Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, and an upcoming ray-traced version of The Witcher 3. The hackers also claimed in the ransom note that they had also obtained internal documents that would be embarrassing to CDPR. The stolen data might begin appearing online in the future, but someone might have spent millions of dollars buying it. It’s unlikely anyone would do that just to release the source code, but perhaps it was those internal documents that interested the buyer.
Update: we have confirmed the auction has closed. Someone has indeed purchased the material.
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In just the last few months, CDPR has seen its reputation take a beating. The incredible success of The Witcher 3 and the hype for Cyberpunk 2077 made it the darling of the gaming community, but the sad state of Cyberpunk at release cost CDPR dearly. The game was barely playable on current-gen consoles, and even the PC version required flagship video cards to run acceptably. Sony and several other vendors offered refunds to unhappy gamers — Sony even pulled the game from its online store.
CDPR has promised it will roll out several updates to address the shortcomings in Cyberpunk. Several small bug fix updates have rolled out, but you still can’t get a haircut in the game.
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