On Tuesday, CD Projekt Red announced that they’d been hacked. No personal data was stolen, so players can rest easy that their private info remains secure. What was stolen, however, was at least part of the source code to CD Projekt’s Red Engine, which is the same one used to make Cyberpunk 2077.
“We discovered that we have become a victim of a targeted cyber attack due to which some of our internal systems have been compromised,” CPPR wrote earlier this week, along with pictures of a ransom note claiming to have stolen the source for Cyberpunk 2077, Gwent, and an unreleased version of The Witcher. The note threatened to release this information if CDPR did not contact them within 48 hours.
CD Projekt Red said in their tweet that they would not reach out to the hackers or negotiate for the return of their stolen data. This led to the hacker group setting up an online auction on the dark web to sell their stolen source code to the highest bidder.
According to hacker collective vx-underground, the dark web auction began with a starting bid of $1 million and had a buy-it-now price of $7 million. Later, web monitoring organization KELA reported that the hacker group had received a “satisfying offer” from an unknown source. The sale stipulated that CDPR’s stolen code not be redistributed or resold. This was also confirmed by vx-underground.
KELA analyst Victoria Kivilevich told IGN that whoever the buyer was purchased everything in a single discrete package. We don’t know who they are, what their intent is, or what the final sale price was, but it seems likely to have been at least around the $7 million price tag initially set by the hackers.
Analysts have speculated that the ransomware attack might have been an inside job. Cyberpunk 2077’s botched release has hit CD Projekt Red hard, and there are rumors that upper management has blamed the game’s failures on the developers. It’s not hard to see how a disgruntled employee might take revenge in this extremely damaging way.
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