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

Choosing a collaboration platform

Eight questions every IT leader should ask

Download now

Performance benchmark: PostgreSQL/ MongoDB

Helping developers choose a database

Download now

Customer service vs. customer experience

Three-step guide to modern customer experience

Download now

Taking a proactive approach to cyber security

A complete guide to penetration testing

Download now

Recommended

How can you protect your business from crypto-ransomware?
Security

How can you protect your business from crypto-ransomware?

20 Apr 2021
Best ransomware removal tools
ransomware

Best ransomware removal tools

9 Apr 2021
eBay, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google were phishers’ top targets in 2020
phishing

eBay, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google were phishers’ top targets in 2020

20 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

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
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

8 Apr 2021
UK exploring plans to launch its own digital currency
digital currency

UK exploring plans to launch its own digital currency

19 Apr 2021