“Elden Ring” makers apparently next victim

Elden Ring main bosses Radagon

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Of: Philip Hansen

Bandai Namco, a multi-billion dollar video games giant, has reportedly been hacked. The cyber blackmailers make millions from their crimes.

TOKYO, Japan – Bandai Namco is said to be the latest victim of a hacking group that is making millions from extortion. The video game group is developing for the PS5, for example, but more and more companies and even state authorities are being put under pressure by such ransomware attacks. How do criminals operate on the Internet?

Bandai Namco is likely to be the next victim of a hacker group that has already been blackmailing the United States

Who was attacked? Hollywood portrays hackers as teenagers in hoodies in their children’s rooms, but the reality of the 1980s has long been outdated. Globally operating companies and even official authorities are repeatedly victims of cyber attacks carried out by highly specialized groups.

The latest hack is said to have caught the well-known Japanese game developer around the software group Bandai Namco. As a publisher, Bandai Namco is best known for video games such as the “Dark Souls” series, “Elden Ring” and games for well-known anime such as “Dragon Ball”. The company also acts as a toy manufacturer and had sales of 6.5 billion euros in 2021.

Elden Ring: enthusiastic video gamers worldwide in 2022, now the publisher is said to have been hit by a cyber attack © From Software

These are supposed to be the blackmailers: The cyber attack on Bandai Namco is said to have been carried out by the so-called BlackCat Ransomware Group. The hackers boast at least about their latest success, report those who know the scene on Twitter. Such loosely connected hacker groups have been responsible for several attacks and extortions in recent years:

  • Capcom, another major video game publisher and developer, fell victim to a hack in 2020. Company internals and unannounced game titles were made public.
  • The developer of the renowned “Witcher” series and Cyberpunk 2077, CD projekt RED, was robbed by hackers in 2021.
  • Technology companies, such as the graphics card manufacturer Nvidia, were also attacked by such hackers in 2022 and are still struggling with the effects.
  • Such hacks become even more critical when they affect a country’s infrastructure: the US oil supplier Colonial Pipeline was also attacked by the ransomware group in 2021. This led to the fact that the petrol supply was stopped and there were even bottlenecks – like that Tagesschau reported on May 20, 2021.
  • That is why well-known authorities such as the FBI are investigating the almost insatiable hackers.
  • Bandai Namco has not yet commented on the hacker attacks last Monday (as of July 12, 11 a.m.).
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Hackers make millions in ransoms from ransomware attacks

Here’s how the hackers do it: In a ransomware attack, the hackers smuggle malicious software into their victims’ systems – for example with Trojans. Then the sensitive data is encrypted, for example, so that the owners can no longer access it themselves. The hackers also threatened to publish the inside information they found if no ransom was paid. The BlackCat Ransomware Group captured secret company projects on the one hand, but also sensitive information about company employees.

The word ransomware is derived from the English word for ransom: “ransom”. As an addition, the “ware” known for IT terms, as in software, hardware, is added. The fact that Colonial Pipeline paid the hackers around 4 million euros shows how well the ransom extortions are worthwhile.

Call of Duty: Warzone logo in the hand of a hacker wearing an anonymous mask
Warzone firmly in the grip of hackers – This is how you imagine the stereotypical cheater © Activision/unsplash (Montage)

Most video gamers themselves tend to think of hackers as “harmless” cheaters who spoil the fun of honest gamers. Such cheaters are up to mischief, especially in shooters, but are also happy to be humiliated to the delight of everyone in Warzone. However, the fact that hackers are increasingly becoming a problem for the sometimes poorly equipped security systems of countries or international companies is a trend that should be taken seriously.