Archived Story

Leaks show need for more security

Published 5:33pm Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Internet can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to game development, as game studio CD Projekt RED found out last week.

Gamers found a massive data leak last week on almost everything concerning “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” the conclusion to “The Witcher” RPG series. Everything from concept art to ending details were included in a file that spread on Reddit and 4chan, the popular web forums.

Developers have confirmed the leak and asked players not to look at the files, which spoil major details about the game. It’s safe to say that won’t happen, and the games industry would do well to dwell more on security.

Even game companies have concerns about Internet security, which more studios have to deal with on a consistent basis. Though “The Witcher 3” details were leaked through an employee’s hacked Google Drive, there’s a history of high-profile hackings which have majorly impacted the game industry.

In 2011, the hacker group Lulzsec took to the Internet to hack governments and corporations around the world. Nintendo, Sony, Bethesda, Codemasters, Epic Games and others were hacked, alongside entities like the CIA.

Hackers made off with huge amounts of stolen information on people worldwide.

The PlayStation brand was majorly damaged when its online service, the Playstation Network, was down or streamlined for several weeks after hackers made off with personal details from 77 million users, in what at the time was the biggest hack in history. The hacks prompted Sony to change its user agreement to prevent people from suing the company in a class action over future security breaches, as well as offer plenty of deals to gamers to make up for the mistake.

Last year, several high-profile companies including Ubisoft, Riot Games (the owners of League of Legends), Konami and Club Nintendo were hacked. Thousands of users’ information was once again grabbed.

More often than not, these hacks were designed to grab user information, but companies like Valve have been struck by hackers who have leaked details to much-anticipated games before.

In today’s Internet, there’s little promise that information you post online will stay secure. Hackers are getting more sophisticated in their attempts to find information on games and gamers, but it’s clear industries need to focus more on security rather than accepting it as the cost to do business. Billions of dollars from corporation and consumer alike are at risk, after all, and the Internet is a powerful equalizer when it comes to stolen information.

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