CD Projekt Ransomware Hack Severely Disrupts Work on Cyberpunk Updates

CD Projekt SA said Wednesday it will delay a promised update to the much-criticized role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077, pinning the blame for its slow progress on a recent security breach. As a result of the ransomware attack, which was disclosed on Feb. 9, most of its employees have been locked out of their workstations for the past two weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Polish company had planned to release a patch to fix bugs and other issues in the game this month. But “the recent cyber attack on the studio’s IT infrastructure and extensive scope of the update mean this unfortunately will not happen,” the company said in a tweet. It now aims to release the patch in the second half of March.

The work stoppage poses a major setback to CD Projekt’s attempt to rescue a game in desperate need of repairs.

CD Projekt has said it refused to pay a ransom to the hackers and it has “cut off remote access to internal network resources and isolated the internal network from the Internet,” according to a statement from the company to former employees on Feb. 17.

As a result, employees remain unable to log onto the company’s virtual private network, making it impossible to access the systems and tools needed to do most of their jobs, said the people, requesting anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk publicly. Although some CD Projekt employees are working from the headquarters in Warsaw, the majority are at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. When asked for comment, CD Projekt referred to the Feb. 17 letter.

Despite the unplanned vacation, the hack has been a nightmare for employees. The invaders may have had access to their personal information including Polish identification numbers and passport details, leading the company to tell staff to freeze their accounts and report the security breach to relevant parties, said the people familiar with the matter. Workers were also asked to ship their computers to the company’s IT staff to be scanned for malware or other intrusions, the people said.

Since Cyberpunk 2077’s unsuccessful release in December, CD Projekt has been working to improve the game in hopes of spinning a redemption story. One software patch, released last month, focused on bugs and stability issues.

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