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Riot Games warns of new game cheats following security breach

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A ‘social engineering attack’ has exposed the source code for Riot’s anti-cheat platform and two of the developer’s most popular games.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 text-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray”>Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Riot Games has revealed that the source codes for its popular League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics, or TFT, video games were stolen in a recent security breach, alongside the code for one of its anti-cheat platforms. Riot disclosed the breach earlier this week on Twitter as a “social engineering attack” and reassured players that it would provide an update on the situation following an investigation.

Now, in a statement posted on Twitter, the California-based video game developer says that the source code for League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics, and a legacy version of the company’s anti-cheat platform were exposed in a cyberattack conducted by an unnamed group. Riot says that it also received a ransom email earlier today, which the company says it won’t pay.

Riot says that it remains “confident that no player data or player personal information was compromised” in the breach but acknowledges that the source code obtained by the attacker could result in new cheats being developed for League of Legends and TFT. “Truthfully, any exposure of source code can increase the likelihood of new cheats emerging,” says Riot Games. “Since the attack, we’ve been working to assess its impact on anticheat and to be prepared to deploy fixes as quickly as possible if needed.”

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The illegally obtained source codes contained a number of experimental features, some of which may never be released to the public. “While we hope some of these game modes and other changes eventually make it out to players, most of this content is in prototype and there’s no guarantee it will ever be released,” says Riot.

The statement adds that some content releases may be delayed as a result of ongoing investigations. Riot has not specified which of its titles could be impacted by the delays but committed to releasing a full report sometime in the future that will detail techniques used by the attackers, alongside disclosing how the company’s security failed and what steps will be taken to prevent a similar attack from happening again. Riot estimates that the exploit used in the attack will be repaired later this week.

Riot isn’t the only game developer to fall victim to this kind of hack — Rockstar was similarly compromised in September last year after an unauthorized third party infiltrated its systems and downloaded early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto VI. CD Projekt Red and Bandai Namco also fell victim to ransomware attacks in recent years after hackers were able to access the studios’ internal systems.

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