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

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

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

Modern governance: The how-to guide

Equipping organisations with the right tools for business resilience

Free Download

Cloud operational excellence

Everything you need to know about optimising your cloud operations

Watch now

A buyer’s guide to board management software

Improve your board’s performance

The real world business value of Oracle autonomous data warehouse

Lead with a 417% five-year ROI

Download now

Recommended

UK's first government cyber strategy aims to bolster public sector defences
cyber security

UK's first government cyber strategy aims to bolster public sector defences

25 Jan 2022
IT Pro Podcast: Learning to live with risk
Sponsored

IT Pro Podcast: Learning to live with risk

25 Jan 2022
Russia's "politically motivated" REvil raid could be used as leverage, experts warn
ransomware

Russia's "politically motivated" REvil raid could be used as leverage, experts warn

17 Jan 2022
Meta files lawsuit to uncover hackers targeting Facebook, WhatsApp
phishing

Meta files lawsuit to uncover hackers targeting Facebook, WhatsApp

21 Dec 2021

Most Popular

Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better
Laptops

Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better

14 Jan 2022
Sony pulls out of MWC 2022
Business operations

Sony pulls out of MWC 2022

14 Jan 2022
UK businesses urged to join four-day working week trial
Business operations

UK businesses urged to join four-day working week trial

17 Jan 2022