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Hackers pretended to be EA employees and got access to source code for games like FIFA 21

The hackers are now selling the data online.

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Image: KnowTechie

Electronic Arts, the popular game publisher and developer that brought us popular franchises like FIFA and Battlefield, have become the latest victim of a major hacking operation. Sources say the company fell victim to an online attack by hackers that compromised more than 780 GB of internal data.

According to Motherboard, this was a coordinated attack, aimed to gain as much of the company’s internal data as possible. Included in the data stolen was the entire FIFA 21 source code, as well as the code for the company’s Frostbite engine. The Frostbite engine is the basis of many EA games, including the Battlefield franchise.

Despite the massive amount of data that was lost to the hackers, EA says that none of its customers’ information was compromised. The company also has not confirmed exactly when the attack took place. This particular attack was focused on the proprietary data controlled by the company. A spokesperson from the company told Motherboard this:

“We are investigating a recent incident of intrusion into our network where a limited amount of game source code and related tools were stolen. No player data was accessed, and we have no reason to believe there is any risk to player privacy. Following the incident, we’ve already made security improvements and do not expect an impact on our games or our business. We are actively working with law enforcement officials and other experts as part of this ongoing criminal investigation.”

According to another report from Vice, hackers were able to access this data by using just $10 worth of stolen cookies. Using those cookies, hackers were able to get into an EA Slack channel and request further access from IT support. A representative for the hackers told Vice that they were given access after claiming, “We lost our phone at a party last night.”

Sources say that the hackers are looking for a big payday from this information. Researchers have found posts on various deep-web forums offering to sell EA’s data. These forum posts detail exactly what information is available for purchase, and EA has confirmed that the posts match the information that was stolen.

This is not the first time that a video game company became the target of hackers this year. Earlier this year, CD Projekt Red, the company behind Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, also fell victim to a hack that stole a significant amount of data. It seems like video game companies are an attractive and profitable target for these attacks.

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