Will Rockstar Hack Delay Grand Theft Auto 6?

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What, if any, impact of a major hack earlier this week on Rockstar Games? Game publishers systems were compromised just a few days ago in what some call the biggest hack of its kind in recent memory. Known for popular franchises such as red Death this Grand Theft AutoRockstar said it was “very disappointed” that an “illegal” burglary episode had taken place. A hacker who also claims to be the same culprit a recent extreme Uber hackLeaked early video footage of the upcoming development GTA6.

So far, Rockstar has not said much about the impact the cyberattack is estimated to have. In its initial statement, the company largely dismissed the prospect of any long-term problems as a result of the hack: “We don’t anticipate any disruptions to our live gaming services or any long-term impact on the development of our ongoing projects. ”Gizmodo has contacted the publisher of the game for more information and will update our story if he replies.

Video game hacks have become more and more common in recent years. Only last week’s beta material from the upcoming Diablo IV was leaked to Reddit. Last summer, EA games suffered from a rather catastrophic hack that leaked the game’s source code all over the web. In the past, hack-and-leaks of games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Half-life 2 have led to epic problems for the game publishers behind them.

The gateway to deception

One of the biggest concerns right now is whether the cybercriminal behind the attack will publish more data. The hacker claims to have stolen the source code of both parties GTA 5 (published 2013) i GTA6 (apparently the release date is 2025), he posted selected screenshots of the code on an online forum, and threatened to release the rest. The source code, the digital DNA of the program, is important proprietary information to any gaming company. Hypothetically, what can the release of such code really do?

Ben Ellinger, vice president of software development at Digipen’s video game design school, told Gizmodo that the impact of the hack depends on the type of code stolen. If a hacker managed to steal server-side code for GTA6that could potentially open Rockstar on problem with cheatingthe professor speculated.

It takes some background to understand the problem game architecture. Today’s online multiplayer games basically, they are designed to stop players from cheating. The game code is divided into two parts: server-side code (which is run remotely) server farm owned by the company) and the client-side code (which runs on the actual player device such as Xbox or telephone). The client code informs about the player’s experience, while the server code regulates the gameplay itself. The code is split like this out of necessity (it’s really impossible to create a multiplayer online environment without some sort cloud infrastructure), but also helps keep the game under control in the hands of the company: players send their input (i.e. commands) to the server and the server sends back an updated version of the game reflecting the player’s input.

However, if a hacker gains access to the server-side code, it could allow him to see how the gameplay works, which will eventually allow him to use that knowledge to develop new cheats. That might not seem like a big deal, but it could quickly turn into quite a problem, Ellinger said. In this particular case, the cheats can really disrupt the gameplay, and if they are sold or distributed to a wider subset of players, the scale of the problem could grow exponentially. Are hackers sell codes online? Yes of course.

Security paranoia

Bellinger said another potential negative side effect of a data breach is a shift in the company’s security culture that temporarily borders on paranoia. He said companies will frequently reevaluate their security procedures in an attempt to fend off another incident.

“The problem is that it is very difficult to determine if [the hack] it’s just a simple security hole … or is it human engineering. ” By human engineering, Bellinger means “inside there is someone complicit in this” [data breach] or unintentionally they have been manipulated. ” Employees are constantly being fooled into letting intruders into corporate networks, even as these anti-phishing workshops are circulating.

Bellinger said post-hacking cultural changes can hinder the workflow and aren’t always as helpful. “They can cause internal disruption to the team because you’re going into an almost paranoid state right now,” he said, explaining that companies will go through a period of self-auditioning when this happens. “The worst-case scenario is that you will lose months due to the inefficiencies that result from this,” he said.

How much is the hack?

It’s not entirely clear how much this incident will cost Rockstar. Daniel Wood, an academic researcher who studies the cyber insurance industry, said that if the company had cyber insurance, the insurer could partially help cover the costs, but it is unclear if Rockstar did.

Even if that were the case, insurance might not help in that case. “Cyber ​​insurance typically does not cover loss of intellectual property or loss of reputation, in part because it is difficult to quantify,” Woods said. “It looks like the Rockstar hack has mainly damaged IP and reputation,” he said, adding that he doubted “financial coverage would help” in this case.

There are also serious and often disappointing limitations to the kind of protection that the cyber insurance industry can provide, Wood said. “Even though cybersecurity coverage does cover something, the coverage limit is often exceeded because insurers are not comfortable offering limits in the hundreds of millions (to get this, policyholders need to get insurance from a coalition of insurers),” he said.

It will be okay, maybe?

The big picture, what are the damages? If it were a smaller game publisher, Rockstar’s fate would likely be much worse. However, for a company that can boast of being regular net income Worth hundreds of millions of dollars, he can afford a little egg on his face every once in a while. According to Bellinger, it probably won’t be that big of a deal.

“All right,” he said with a chuckle. It is hard to imagine that this will seriously deter the premiere of the new game – he added. “This is goddamn Grand Theft Auto. Everything will be fine. People will still be impressed as hell [with the game]they [Rockstar] they will still make billions of dollars. Ninety percent of the people who play it will never even register it has ever happened, ”he said.

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