Hackers auction stolen CD Projekt data with ‘charity fundraiser'

Hacker announcement discovered on a Tor site likely linked to 'HelloKitty' ransomware gang

The Witcher Wild Hunt 3 game on PS4 Console

The hackers involved in last month’s cyber attack on game developer CD Projekt are auctioning off the stolen data in a self-described “charity fundraising”, new evidence suggests.

The Polish developer, known for games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher, was hit by a ransomware attack in early February which saw hackers obtain documents containing accounting, administration, legal, HR, and investor relations information.

New evidence from security software provider Emsisoft, which had previously identified the cyber criminals as the ‘HelloKitty’ ransomware gang, suggests that the hackers have organised a “charity fundraising” event, offering passwords to CD Projekt’s stolen data as rewards.

Emsisoft threat analyst Brett Callow told IT Pro that the announcement from the hackers had been found on a Tor site likely belonging to ‘HelloKitty’. Upon further examination, Callow found that the public torrent file created by the ransomware gang dates back to 13 March.

“The Tor site would probably have been created on or shortly after then,” the threat analyst told IT Pro.

The invitation to the “charity fundraising”, which is likely to financially benefit only the hackers themselves, lists the “donation rewards” as “archive passwords for 10k$ [sic] each”, which would allow the fundraising winners to access “source and assets” to games including The Witcher 3 and last year’s CyberPunk 2077.

Invitation from HelloKitty ransomware gang

The first section of the note from the CD Projekt hackers, image courtesy of Brett Callow, Emsisoft

This is in line with previous predictions made by Emsisoft CTO Fabian Wosar, who last month told IT Pro that the data obtained by ‘HelloKitty’ would “most likely be leaked”.

The hackers added that other data stolen from CD Projekt, including “company reports, NDA”, would be “shared with [the] media” but not with the general public. However, the ransomware gang didn’t elaborate on which publications would obtain the stolen data.

Note from CD Projekt hackers

Image courtesy of Brett Callow, Emsisoft

The note was signed off with a request to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, asking him to purchase large quantities of Bitcoin in order to increase the demand and price of the cryptocurrency. Last month, the company announced that it had purchased over £1 billion worth of Bitcoin and was planning to accept the currency as a payment method for its products.

CD Projekt was not immediately available for comment.

Featured Resources

Unlocking collaboration: Making software work better together

How to improve collaboration and agility with the right tech

Download now

Four steps to field service excellence

How to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Six things a developer should know about Postgres

Why enterprises are choosing PostgreSQL

Download now

The path to CX excellence for B2B services

The four stages to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Recommended

Best ransomware removal tools
ransomware

Best ransomware removal tools

9 Apr 2021
HackBoss malware is using Telegram to steal cryptocurrency from other hackers
cryptocurrencies

HackBoss malware is using Telegram to steal cryptocurrency from other hackers

16 Apr 2021
Mastering endpoint security implementation
Security

Mastering endpoint security implementation

16 Apr 2021
US, UK say Russia was behind SolarWinds hack
cyber attacks

US, UK say Russia was behind SolarWinds hack

16 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages
data centres

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages

7 Apr 2021
University of Hertfordshire's entire IT system offline after cyber attack
cyber attacks

University of Hertfordshire's entire IT system offline after cyber attack

15 Apr 2021
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro review: Champagne tastes on a lemonade budget
Mobile Phones

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro review: Champagne tastes on a lemonade budget

13 Apr 2021