Entertainment // Georgia, United States
A destructive data breach inspired by the recent Sony attack apparently has led a programmer to cancel the creation of a game featuring North Koran dictator Kim Jong-un.
The game, named “Glorious Leader!” involved the North Korean leader taking on the U.S. Army.
Glorious Leader had been seeking backing for the venture through crowdfunding site Kickstarter.
In a Jan. 7 post on the site, Money Horse said the cyber assault “was inspired by the larger attack on Sony". The company said it was sure that the attack was the work of "amateurs" and not politically motivated like the Guardians of Peace group that allegedly carried out the Sony hack.
"The hackers destroyed data pertaining to Glorious Leader! and other projects we had in development and locked us out of our own computers and website," the company wrote. It added that no user data was touched.
The firm claimed other hackers had targeted it too, because of the game's subject matter.
The hack, the lost data and a lull in funding combined to bring about the demise of the project, it said.
But security researcher Graham Cluley suggests the hack might really have been a prank staged to garner publicity for a flagging project.
“After the Sony Pictures hack late last year, in an obvious attempt to capitalise on the situation, Money Horse Games announced that they would be adding a new level to "Glorious Leader!" in which players could help Kim Jong-Un attack Sony Pictures,” he wrote in a blog entry.
“But something simply doesn't ring true about Money Horse Games' explanation.
“Is it really likely that the developers had no backups of its source code and other data? Pointing the finger of blame at North Korea, or copy-cat hackers inspired by the Sony Pictures hack, seems awfully convenient for a failed Kickstarter campaign.
“There's enough doubt as it is that North Korea was behind the Sony Pictures hack, let alone that anyone would care enough to target a tiny games developer.
“If I was a cynic, I might question the entire story of the Glorious Leader hack - and think that it was a desperate attempt to raise publicity for a game that was failing to reach its goal.”