After the CD Projekt Red source code was auctioned off by hackers, it's reportedly been sold for a whopping $7 million when a 'satisfactory' bid was made.
The first rule of cyber terrorists is, CD Projekt Red never negotiates with cyber terrorists. Like something pulled directly from the narrative of the developer's Cyberpunk 2077, someone has apparently got their hands on the CDPR source code and auctioned it off to the highest bidder, reports Early Game.
After a pretty disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 in December, CDPR has been hit by a wave of negative press, allegations that shareholders are stepping down, and claims the company's value has plummeted. While most of the above have been debunked, it now looks like we're in the midst of a very real threat.
At first, it sounded like CD Projekt Red was willing to call the bluff of the hackers, who apparently received the code from someone who had access to the company. Cybersecurity firm KELA confirmed the legitimacy of an online auction with a 0.1 bitcoin buy-in and starting price of $1 million. You could then purchase the source code in an eBay-style "Buy It Now" for a cool $7 million. With this being the very core of CDPR up for sale, sources claim the auction has already ended, with someone stumping up the full $7 million. The question is, who?
Who is selling the CD Projekt Red code?
On February 9, CDPR decided to go public with the news and released a short statement alongside the ransom note. It's not hard to imagine Night City's Netrunners or even Johnny Silverhand pulling off a similar stunt inside Cyberpunk 2077. The note read as follows: “Hello CD PROJECKT!! Your [sic] have been EPICALLY pwned!!” the note read. “We have dumped FULL copies of the source codes from your Perforce servers for Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3, Gwent, and the unreleased version of Witcher 3!! We have dumped all your documents… [and] encrypted all your servers.
"If we will not come to an agreement, then your source codes will be sold or leaked online and your documents will be sent to our contacts in gaming journalism." Still, CDPR wasn't convinced, and decided to roll the dice on the outcome. If the latest developments are to be believed, this could be the start of something huge. According to KELA, the auction was cut short when a satisfactory bid was made. It was supposed to run for 48 hours, with a start of $1 million and a rise in increments of $500,000.
What's next for the CD Projekt Red code?
Twitter account vx-underground was the first to break news of the auction, and later clarified it has closed early due to the right amount being met. So what do you get for your $7 million? Alongside internal documents, there's Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales spinoff, Gwent, The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077, and a proposed ray-traced version of The Witcher 3 for next-gen consoles. In particular, a next-gen version of The Witcher 3 was sure to be a massive earner for CDPR after all that Cyberpunk scandal. Finally, there's the lauded REDengine, which would be like stealing Unreal off Epic Games.
The developer took to social media to assure ex-employees their personal data is safe after the mention of "internal" documents. Although the hackers haven't been named, Wired says they possibly used the HelloKitty ransomware, which was previously used to hack the Brazilian power company called CEMIG. At the time of writing, it's unclear who bought the code or why. It's also unclear whether this is the end of the story or hackers will continue to hold CDPR to random. All in all, it's another troublesome week for CD Projekt Red. Seriously, did someone do something to warrant some bad karma?
Images via CD Projekt Red