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May 19, 2024

Hackers Leak Terabytes of Insomniac Games Data After Failed Ransom Demand

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Dec 21, 2023

Insomniac Games, the acclaimed video game developer behind hits like Marvel’s Spider-Man and the upcoming Marvel’s Wolverine, was hit by a devastating ransomware attack this week. The hackers, calling themselves Rhysida, demanded $2 million or else they would leak sensitive company data. After the ransom went unpaid, the group made good on their threat.

Over 13 Million Files Leaked, Including Games and Personal Info

According to multiple reports, Rhysida gained access to over 13 million of Insomniac’s internal files totaling over 1.3 terabytes of data. Among the massive data dump were unreleased games, source code, financial documents, and even personal information of employees.

The crown jewel of the leaks appears to be an early build of Marvel’s Wolverine, the highly anticipated upcoming PlayStation exclusive game currently slated for 2024. Gameplay footage and images quickly spread across the internet, offering the first real look at Insomniac’s take on the iconic X-Men character.

While exciting for fans, the leaked footage represents a devastating breach of trust and security for Insomniac employees. Speaking on Twitter, Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann called the hack “absolutely disgusting,” saying “Insomniac doesn’t deserve this. No one does.”

Sony Investigating Breach Across Multiple Studios

As Insomniac Games is a subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment, the tech giant is also involved in investigating the attack. Sony confirmed they are looking into the data breach across multiple studios, suggesting Rhysida may have accessed more than just Insomniac’s files.

Sources claim Sony made an exclusive deal with Marvel to develop X-Men games through 2035. If true, PlayStation players could be the only ones able to enjoy new mutant-themed games for more than a decade. The hackers threatened to leak this contractual information to pressure Sony into paying the ransom.

What’s Next for Insomniac?

In the immediate aftermath of the hack, Insomniac Games has remained quiet on social media and through official channels. As Sony conducts their investigation and works to contain any further damage, the developer will likely remain mum about their future plans.

However, based on the leaked Wolverine footage, development seems to still be in the early stages. It’s possible the unfinished build and other sensitive information could motivate Insomniac to start over on core parts of the game. Still, given Sony’s ambitious release target of 2024, drastic changes seem unlikely.

Looking farther ahead, Insomniac’s leaked roadmap revealed ambitious plans for a strong slate of Marvel games expanding all the way to 2032. These plans could include everything from additional Spider-Man and Wolverine content to an expansive multiplayer Avengers title and even an X-Men vs Avengers crossover game. Insomniac may look to accelerate or otherwise tweak this timeline given the leaks.

Industry Condemns “Shameful” Attack

Across social media and public statements, video game developers and industry leaders roundly condemned the destructive ransomware attack on Insomniac Games.

Tim Willits, former studio head at id Software, called the breach “absolutely disgusting behavior” saying “Our passion should be making games, not stealing data.”

Remedy Entertainment, makers of Control and Alan Wake, said the incident was “shameful” and that Insomniac “didn’t deserve this. No studio does.”

With cyber attacks becoming more common, many are viewing this industry-wide condemnation as a pivotal moment. The coming together of support for Insomniac could motivate new security standards and insurance policies that better protect developers. But only time will tell how or even if development practices change in light of emerging digital threats.

Hacker Details Remain Mysterious

Currently little is known about the individuals or group behind the Rhysida ransomware. Security firms have tracked their activity back to at least September 2022. Their methods appear typical of cyber criminal enterprises looking to extort money from high-value targets.

Insomniac is not their first victim in the video game space. Over the summer, Rhysida also targeted Ubisoft, leaking early footage of Assassin’s Creed Mirage. However, their attack on Insomniac secured their biggest payout yet thanks to the valuable Marvel IP involved.

Officials are still working to uncover more details about the group. Their tools, tactics, and identities remain mysterious for now. Content linking the Rhysida members to Russian cyber crime servers has fueled speculation of Russian involvement. But firm connections cannot be made yet.

Going forward, Sony will certainly aim to ensure no further leaks or vulnerability from this attack. Meanwhile, the FBI is likely tracking Rhysida closely to prevent future gaming-related extortion.

This breaking news story will be updated as more details emerge from the ongoing Insomniac Games ransomware investigation.

AiBot

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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