Will the Rockstar Hack Delay Grand Theft Auto 6?

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How will a serious hack earlier this week affect the business of Rockstar Games? game publishers system was violated A few days ago in what some are calling the biggest hack of its kind in recent memory. Known for popular franchises like red Dead grand theft autoOf course, Rockstar said it was “extremely disappointed” that the “illegal” hacking episode had occurred. Hacker, who claims to be the same culprit behind this recent extreme uber hackLeaked video of early development footage from the upcoming GTA6,

So far, Rockstar hasn’t said much about the impact of the cyberattack presumption. In its opening statement, the company largely dismissed the possibility of any long-term problems as a result of the intrusion: “We do not expect any disruption to our live game services nor any impact on the development of our ongoing projects.” Long-term impact.” Gizmodo contacted the game publisher for more information and will update our story if they respond.

Hacking video games has become common in recent years. Beta footage from just last week, upcoming Diablo IV was Groove to reddit. the last summer, EA Games A fairly devastating hack was encountered that saw game source code leak across the web. In the past, hack-and-leaks of games like cyberpunk 2077 And half life 2 The game behind them has caused epic problems for publishers.

cheat gateway

One of the biggest concerns right now is whether the cybercriminals behind the attack will publish any more data. The hacker claimed to have stolen the source code of both gta 5 (published 2013) and GTA6 (rumored release date in 2025), posted featured screenshots of the code on an online forum, and threatened to leave the rest, Source code, the digital DNA of a program, is important proprietary information for any gaming company. Hypothetically, what exactly could releasing such code do?

Ben Ellinger, vice president of software production at the video game design school Digipen, told Gizmodo that the impact of a hack depends on what kind of code was stolen. If the hacker managed to steal server-side code for GTA6, that could potentially open up Rockstar to a Cheating problemThe professor guessed.

A little background is needed to understand the issue game architecture, today’s online multi player game Essentially designed to prevent players from cheating. The game’s code is divided into two parts: the server-side code (which is run by the remote 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 controls the gameplay itself. The code is split out of necessity like this (you can’t really create some kind of online, multi-player environment without cloud infrastructure) but it also helps keep control of the game firmly in the company’s hands: players send their input (ie, 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 server-side code that could allow them to see how the gameplay works, that would eventually allow them to exploit that knowledge to develop new cheats. This may not sound like a big deal, but it can quickly turn into a big problem, Ellinger said. In this particular case, cheats can actually disrupt gameplay, and the scale of the problem can grow exponentially if cheats are sold or distributed to a wider subset of players. do hackers sell cheats online, Of course they do.

security paranoia

Bellinger said another potential negative side effect of the data breach is a change in the company’s security culture that temporarily relies on paranoia. Firms will usually reevaluate their security procedures in an effort to avert the next incident, he said.

“The problem is that it is very difficult to determine whether [the hack] Just a direct security hole… or whether it’s human engineering or not.” By human engineering, Bellinger means “there’s someone inside who’s either involved in it”. [data breach] Or is it so unintentionally—they were molested.” Employees are tricked into allowing intruders into corporate networks all the time, even when anti-phishing workshops are doing the rounds.

Bellinger said changes in post-hacking culture can hinder workflows and aren’t always helpful. They can “cause internal disruption in the team because now you almost enter a state of paranoia,” he said, explaining that companies will go through a period of self-inquiry once something like this happens. “The worst-case scenario for this is that you lose months to inefficiencies as a result,” he said.

How much does a hack cost?

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

However, even if they did, insurance might not have helped that much in such a case. “Cyber ​​insurance typically doesn’t cover lost intellectual property or reputation damage, because they are difficult to quantify,” Woods said. “It appears that the Rockstar hack primarily damaged IP and reputation,” he said, adding that he suspected “financial coverage would have helped” in the case.

Wood said there are also serious and often frustrating limits to the kind of protection the cyber insurance industry can provide. “Even when cyber insurance covers something, the insurance limit is often exceeded because insurers are not comfortable offering limits in the crores (to achieve this, insurers have to consult a coalition of insurers). have to get insurance),” he said.

It’ll be fine, maybe?

Big picture, what’s the harm? If it were a smaller game publisher, Rockstar’s luck would probably be far worse. However, for a company that regularly claims Net income For hundreds of millions of dollars, it can lay a tiny egg on its face once in a while. According to Bellinger, it probably won’t be such a big deal.

“It’s fine,” he said with a laugh. He added that it’s hard to imagine that this would seriously prevent the release of new games. “It’s frickin’ grand theft auto, it’s gonna be okay. people are still going to be impressed as hell [with the game]they [Rockstar] Still going to make billions of dollars. Ninety-nine percent of the people who play it won’t even record that it ever happened,” he said.

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