Will Rockstar Hack Delay Grand Theft Auto 6?

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What will be the impact of a major hack earlier this week on Rockstar Games’ business? The publisher of the game the systems have been breached just a few days ago in what some are calling the biggest hack of its kind in recent memory. Known for popular franchises such as Dead red the Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar said he was “extremely disappointed” that the “illegal” hacking incident took place. The hacker, who also claims to be the same culprit behind the Uber’s recent extreme hackleaked video of the upcoming early development footage GTA6.

So far, Rockstar hasn’t said much about the impact it estimates the cyberattack will have. In its initial statement, the company largely dismissed the prospect of any long-term problems as a result of the intrusion: “We do not anticipate any disruption to our live gaming services or any long-term effect on the development of our projects in course. “Gizmodo has reached out to the game’s publisher for more information and will update our story if they respond.

Video game hacks have become increasingly common in recent years. Just last week, beta footage of the next Diablo IV was leaked on Reddit. Last summer, EA games suffered a fairly disastrous hack that saw the game’s source code leaked all over the web. In the past, hack-and-leak games like Cyberpunk 2077 And Half-Life 2 led to epic problems for the game publishers behind them.

A gateway to cheating

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 of them GTA5 (published in 2013) e GTA6 (expected release date 2025), posted select screenshots of the code on an online forum, and threatened to release the rest. Source code, the digital DNA of a program, is proprietary information that is important to any gaming company. Hypothetically, what could the release of such code really do?

Ben Ellinger, vice president of software production at the Digipen video game design school, told Gizmodo that the impact of a hack depends on the type of code stolen. If the hacker managed to steal the server-side code for GTA6which could potentially open Rockstar to treason problemthe professor speculated.

Understanding the problem requires some background game architecture. Today it is online multiplayer games they are essentially designed to prevent players from cheating. The game code is divided into two parts: the server-side code (which runs remotely server farm company-owned) and client-side code (which runs on the player’s actual device, such as an Xbox or phone). The client code informs the player’s user experience, while the server code governs the gameplay itself. The code is partitioned this way out of necessity (you can’t really create an online multiplayer environment without some sort of cloud infrastructure) but also helps keep control of the game firmly in the hands of the company: players send their input (i.e. commands) to the server, and the server returns an updated version of the game that reflects the player’s input.

However, if a hacker gains access to the server-side code, this could allow them to see how the gameplay works, which would ultimately allow them to leverage that knowledge to develop new cheats. This might not seem like a big deal, but it can quickly turn into a sizable problem, Ellinger said. In this particular case, the cheats could really disrupt gameplay, and if the cheats are sold or distributed to a larger subset of players, the scale of the problem could grow exponentially. Be hackers sell tricks online? Sure they do.

Security paranoia

Bellinger said that another potential negative side effect of a data breach is a change in a company’s security culture that is temporarily bordering on paranoia. Companies commonly reevaluate their security procedures in an effort to avert the next incident, she said.

“The problem is that it’s very difficult to tell if [the hack] it’s just a direct security hole … or if it’s human engineering. By human engineering, Bellinger means that there is “someone on the inside who is or complicit in this [data breach] or is it inadvertently so: they have been manipulated. Employees are tricked into continually allowing intruders to access corporate networks, even when anti-phishing labs have been around.

Bellinger said post-hacking cultural changes can hinder workflow and don’t always end up being that useful. “They can cause internal disruptions to the team because you are now entering a state of near paranoia,” she said, explaining that companies will go through a period of self-interrogation after something like this has happened. “The worst case scenario for this is that months are lost due to the resulting inefficiencies,” she said.

How much does a hack cost?

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

However, even if they did, insurance may not have been of much help in a case like this. “Cyber ​​insurance typically doesn’t cover lost intellectual property or reputational damage, in part because it’s hard to quantify,” Woods said. “It appears that Rockstar’s hacking mainly damaged IP and reputation,” he said, adding that he doubted that “the financial backing would help” in this case.

There are also serious and often disappointing limitations on the kind of protection the cyber insurance industry can provide, Wood said. “Even when cyber insurance covers something, the insurance limit is often exceeded because insurers are not comfortable offering limits in the hundreds of millions (to achieve this, policyholders must obtain insurance from a coalition of insurers), “he said.

Will everything be okay, maybe?

Big picture, what is the damage? Had it been a smaller game publisher, Rockstar’s fate would probably have been much worse. However, for a company that boasts a regular net income of hundreds of millions of dollars, he can afford to have a little egg on his face once in a while. According to Bellinger, it probably won’t be a big deal.

“Okay,” he said, chuckling. It’s hard to imagine that this will seriously discourage the release of the new game, she added. “This is fucked up Grand Theft Auto. It will all be fine. People will still be impressed as hell [with the game]they [Rockstar] they will still earn billions of dollars. 90% of the people who play it will never register that it ever happened, “she said.

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