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  • Sahriar Shuvo - Tech Journalist

CD PROJEKT RED: Development studio behind “The Witcher 3” and “Cyberpunk 2077” got hacked!

CD Projekt Red, a famous (and one of the best) game development studio got hacked on February 8th. The news was posted on Twitter by CDPR themselves attaching two files that contain ransom notes from the hacker group and an official statement. The ransom note said CPR, they have been “EPICALLY pwned!” Attackers ransoming against source code.

CD Projekt Red is a very successful studio mostly popular for their successor “Witcher 3” and the Witcher series. The game was so successful that even 5 years after the initial release (on 18 May 2015), CDPR raised $124.7 million in revenue just in 12 months after December 31, 2019. Digital copies of the game raised over $101 million this sale and the rest are physical copies.

Target ideology

Cyberpunk 2077 was the most hyped video game of this decade, but the launch was disappointing and unsuccessful. The game world is vast and brought new mechanics and physics, making it very futuristic. But optimisation is as bad as it gets. This lowered the value of a company by a noticeable margin. It was the only game on Steam, that was available to refund after pre-purchase. Terms in steam on this side are that no product can be refunded if it’s a pre-purchase.

Just within two months after the Cyberpunk release, CDPR got hacked. Hackers got into CDPR serves and now have access to the games source code, accounting, administration, legal, HR, investor relations, and more sensitive information. On top of that, the servers are encrypted. Being a vastly successful company, they can restore files from the backup server but the damage is already done. They threatened to publish these files if CDPR doesn’t respond to the ransom note.

The response

CDPR replied “We will not give in to the demands nor negotiate with the actor, being aware that this may eventually lead to the release of the compromised data. We are taking necessary steps to mitigate the consequences of such a release, in particular by approaching any parties that may be affected due to the breach.”

On the other hand, CDPR is still investing in the issue and trying to bring hackers to light by working with IT forensic specialists and personal data protection offices. After the devastating launch of the most anticipated product, it is a huge bump.

We are amazed to see that CDPR is not backing down by threat and not falling victim to cyberbullying. They may encounter losses, even with shareholders at risk of losing more after what happened with Cyberpunk. Hackers are aware of the backups and it has already been restored. Gwent another popular game, unleashed from a minigame within the legendary Witcher games itself, also another unreleased version of Witcher 3 source code has been jeopardised. CDPR is popular for generously releasing DRM-free games. Where almost all the games have DENUVO or similar technology implemented to fight against cracks. They understand that not everyone can’t afford $60 for it and that’s fine by their book.

Rest assured, CDPR announced, “the compromised systems did not contain any personal data of our players or users of our services.” The company has been running for over a decade has all the fallback measurements in hand. The first release of The Witcher in 2007, bought a whole new genre. It fuelled the first season of The Witcher TV show in 2019. Surprisingly, today they announced a whole new board game The Witcher: Old World.

A notice came in later that the source code has already been sold to the highest bidder. It was hosted on an auction site on the dark web. The auction was held by an anonymous user named “redengine”.





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