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Hacked Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077 Source Code Allegedly Sold

Cyberpunk 2077 Screenshot
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The source code files for Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077 and Gwent have apparently already been successfully auctioned off to an unknown party, according to well-known data security source vx-underground. That’s a quick turnaround after the initial hack hit news sources two days ago, which promised to leak and sell the data within 48 hours if CD Projekt Red did not “come to an agreement” with the hackers. 

Shortly after discovering the hack, CD Projekt Red posted to its Twitter that it would not be negotiating with the hackers, which led the group to apparently leak the full Gwent source code on a hacking forum and begin an auction for the Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 source code files.

Now, just a day after we first reported on the auction, vx-underground is saying that “someone has indeed purchased the material.”
 

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The Twitter account affirms that it doesn’t know the amount of the winning bid or what currency was used, although it has since posted a screenshot from one of the hackers confirming that the auction has concluded.

Of course, this has led to plenty of speculation, including the idea that CD Projekt Red bought the data itself despite its promises not to negotiate with the hackers. Given that the auction started at $1,000,000 and has a “buy now” price of $7,000,000, it’s certainly possible.

But it’s also possible that the buyer could include competition or even independent sources. Another theory speculates that the buyer might be the government.

Regardless, what this means for the average person is that we’ll potentially see full, uncompromised DRM-free copies of these games hitting...certain websites soon. 

We’re curious to see how CD Projekt Red responds (assuming the company wasn’t the buyer), but in the meantime, exercise caution if you come across these files. “Free Witcher 3” is a very enticing vector for malware.
 

Michelle Ehrhardt

Michelle Ehrhardt is an editor at Tom's Hardware. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.

  • EviLBerTo
    Regardless, what this means for the average person is that we’ll potentially see full, uncompromised DRM-free copies of these games hitting...certain websites soon.

    All of these games are DRM free anyway, they are on GOG. W3 GOTY is only £7 atm as well and Gwent is Free anyway.
    Reply
  • Heat_Fan89
    EviLBerTo said:
    All of these games are DRM free anyway, they are on GOG. W3 GOTY is only £7 atm as well and Gwent is Free anyway.
    But GOG.com has their own level of DRM. Their executable is built within their wrapper. Without the GOG executable you can't install the game.
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    Heat_Fan89 said:
    But GOG.com has their own level of DRM. Their executable is built within their wrapper. Without the GOG executable you can't install the game.
    You can use Innoextract to get the game files from the installer.

    And technically once you have it installed, you can do whatever you want with the files.
    Reply
  • albatross83
    Another theory speculates that the buyer might be the government.

    Definitely not the US government. First of all, CD Projekt Red is a Polish company, so the US has no direct interest in the outcome.

    Moreover, the US has a strict policy against paying ransoms, and only (relatively) recently permitted private entities to pay ransoms on their own. And that's for human beings. They're definitely not going to shell out for hacked source code for a foreign company.
    Reply
  • russell_john
    albatross83 said:
    Definitely not the US government. First of all, CD Projekt Red is a Polish company, so the US has no direct interest in the outcome.

    Moreover, the US has a strict policy against paying ransoms, and only (relatively) recently permitted private entities to pay ransoms on their own. And that's for human beings. They're definitely not going to shell out for hacked source code for a foreign company.

    Well CDPR has a lot of American investors and they are the ones already suing CDPR ...... They will do everything they can to cut further losses

    If you want to catch these criminal sonuvb*tches the best way is for the FBI to buy it and trace it back to it's origins and then bust their balls ...... Kind of like they did to the scumbags that were holding hospitals ransom in the middle of a Pandemic ..... Those guys disappeared real quick and their networks were shut down .... Unless the hackers have the protection of the Russian, Chinese, NK or Iranian governments they are vulnerable
    Reply
  • russell_john
    EviLBerTo said:
    All of these games are DRM free anyway, they are on GOG. W3 GOTY is only £7 atm as well and Gwent is Free anyway.

    Byte code and source code are two entirely different beasts ...... No much you can do with the byte code installed on your computer, it really doesn't tell you much about the IP they use to do things like control AI or make a very dense open world that can still load into the limited memory of a game console

    The source code however gives up all your little IP secrets that can be implemented into a different game engine ..... When you get right down to it there are only a handful of game engines that can seamless load and unload assets in a large open world at the same time as controlling AI to bring everything to life ..... It's an artform and at one time even CDPR had to lease the tech from someone else and spent a lot of time and money perfecting their open world game engine for Witcher 3
    Reply
  • PapaCrazy
    "Another theory speculates that the buyer might be the government. "

    ...my money's on Poland
    Reply
  • Chung Leong
    PapaCrazy said:
    ...my money's on Poland

    What? So the government can create a version of Cyberpunk 2077 with all LGBT materials striped out? LOL
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    This is really much ado about nothing. If another company uses CDPR's source code in their own game then that opens up their weak spot for MASSIVE lawsuit damage. Hackers could in theory make a "free" version for mass download (you're an idiot if you think these hackers are just giving away cracked games out of the goodness of their hearts), but as was pointed out there's already DRM free versions on the internet right now. Having the source code is great for making cheats like aimbots and wallhacks - but they're not MP games so it doesn't really matter if you cheat or not. I'm having a hard time figuring out why this matters unless CDPR has pirated other companies' source code into theirs and doesn't want anyone to know.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    I don’t see the benefit of anybody buying the source code for any reason it just doesn’t make sense. That’s why I like the comment that it’s Poland who bought it just so they could prop up their company with extra money
    Reply