League of Legends and anti-cheat source code are being held for ransom
Hackers are demanding $10 million USD to stop the release of the codebases to the public.
- On January 20, Riot Games announced on Twitter that its development environment had been compromised by hackers via a social engineering attack. Due to the nature of the attack, the studio also confirmed that the breach would cause some delays in the release and development of future content for their titles.
- Riot updated players on the situation on Twitter on January 24, confirming that, while the company is confident that no player data was compromised, hackers did obtain source code for Teamfight Tactics, League of Legends, and a "legacy" anti-cheat. The stolen source code allegedly included many unreleased, experimental features, such as modes and changes that may have been made available to players in the future.
- Shortly after the breach, Riot received an email from the attackers that included a ransom note, which it has so far refused to pay. Vice’s Motherboard managed to obtain a copy of the ransom email in which the culprits requested a payment of $10 million USD in exchange for their promise to delete the stolen source code from their servers and provide insight on the breach as well as "offer advice on preventing future breaches". Those behind the attack also claimed that it was an "amateur-level hack" and that they wanted to remind Riot that it "would be a shame to see your company publicly exposed, especially when you take great pride in your security measures," whilst offering a Telegram link for both parties to communicate.
- The developer could face significant problems as a result of the public release of the source code. The possibility of new, undetectable cheats appearing as a result of a leak is high, and Riot has already acknowledged this, stating that it is prepared to "deploy fixes as quickly as possible if needed.”
In other Riot news:
- The company recently found itself a part of the ongoing wave of layoffs across the gaming industry, letting go of staff across its esports, human resources, and support divisions. Riot making any kind of staffing cuts is a very rare occurrence, so it's more than likely a reaction to the world's current poor economic situation.
- Riot is still working on porting their successful tactical FPS VALORANT to consoles. After we first noticed the studio hiring for the game in November 2022, a new listing for an "Analytical Product Manager" appeared on its careers site.
- VALORANT will not only be released on consoles but will also be ported to mobile devices in the future. The project is still in progress, with Riot stating that progress has been "slower than they had hoped for." Depending on the game's current state, we may see some form of beta in 2023.