Popular Video Game Studio’s Files Being Held Hostage by Hackers

Media Division | June 8, 2017

Hackers have continued to target increasing numbers of different organizations and industries. They have recently been hitting various institutions related to media productions. For instance, the recent hacking of an editing studio in which the criminals had stolen episodes of the popular TV series, “Orange is the New Black,” and attempted to ransom them back to the owners. Of course, this is not the only incident that has occurred in the past. But now, in a more recent event, a prominent Polish video game development studio called CD Projekt RED was hacked and had some of their files stolen.

CD Projekt RED is most well-known for their popular action-RPG game series, “The Witcher.” But, the files stolen in the recent attack were related to an unreleased game called “Cyberpunk 2077.” According to a statement posted on Twitter, the hackers had contacted them and said that they possessed internal files belonging to the studio, and were demanding a ransom for their return. CD Projekt RED had said that some of the files include documents regarding early designs of Cyberpunk. There has been no further description as far as what they specifically mean by internal files, but they did say that the documents are outdated and do not correctly represent the current vision of the game.

Denying the Attacker’s Request

The official statement released by the studio was quite brief, but it did give a very definitive standing – that they will not be paying the ransom. The statement directly says, “A demand for ransom has been made, saying that should we not comply, the files will be released to the general public. We will not be giving in to the demands of the individual or individuals that have contacted us, which might eventually lead to the files being published online.” They then further stated that proper authorities will be notified of the incident. It is fortunate that the files are older and apparently not that important, being that the studio refuses to pay. In ransom situations like this, the return of the stolen information is never guaranteed. Meaning, it is possible that even if the studio paid, the hackers could still release the files online. The studio says that those anticipating Cyberpunk 2077 should avoid any information that does not come directly from them, and that they will say more about it when the time is right. As a note, it also ill advised to download or follow links to any data that is not from a reputable or verified source.

Preventing Cyber Attacks in the Media and Entertainment Industry

As mentioned above, the media and entertainment industry can be quite a large target for hackers. There are a wealth of illicit gains to be had between unreleased films/shows and the private information of celebrities. Establishment of proper cyber security is a vital necessity for all entities involved. With the way that cyber attackers and threats have continued to evolve, it now requires a much more comprehensive security posture to be able to protect against attacks in the entertainment and media industry. There is a multitude of organizational access points that a hacker could exploit for their malicious attacks, such as production studios, individuals, editing facilities, and manufacturers. Massive Alliance offers a wide array of cyber security tools to help all of the various entities within the media and entertainment industry to protect against cyber attacks.

Massive's Media Division publishes timely news and insights based on current events, trends, and actionable cross-industry expertise.