Cyberattacks struck at least three large publishers in the past year

Polish game developer CD Projekt SA disclosed in February it was hit by a ransomware attack. Boxes of the company’s Cyberpunk 2077 game on display in Warsaw in December 2020.

Gamers have struggled for years with hackers who cheat and take over accounts. Now, videogame studios are coming under serious attack, prompting them to step up their cyber defenses.

Hackers claim to have pilfered the source code for popular games such as EA’s FIFA series and CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077, and the libraries of code and digital assets known as game engines used to create them

Rather than demanding ransom to not publish the source code, the hackers have instead said they would auction it on the darknet.

Videogame studios face a number of challenges unique to their industry. The need to consistently stream large volumes of data into and from servers, which power online gaming, means security tools are often customized for a studio.

Hackers could sell source code or use it to launch attacks in a number of ways, according to researchers. Additionally, alternate versions of games containing malware could be distributed to gamers.

The videogame industry as a whole generated revenue in excess of movies and U.S. sports combined in 2020, according to estimates from market research company International Data Corp.

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