Electronic Arts have confirmed that they were victims of a cyber-attack recently and that hackers have stolen large amounts of data from the publisher. EA has said that the hackers have gotten their hands on the source code to FIFA 21, the Frostbite engine (which powers the FIFA games, Battlefield games, Anthem, and Star Wars: Squadrons), and other game development tools as well.
The hackers are reported to have been advertising that the stolen data is now for sale on hacking forums but that they will only consider offers from big-name members of the hacking community. An EA representative has said,
We are investigating a recent incident of intrusion into our network where a limited amount of game source code and related tools were stolen.EA Representative
They were also quick to point out that,
No player data was accessed, and we have no reason to believe there is any risk to player privacy.EA Representative
EA has also confirmed that the attack did not involve any ransomware, meaning the whole intent was to steal data. Source code is a very big deal in programming, so it’s a massive deal when companies lose control over it, and EA isn’t the first to be under such an attack.
Recently hackers stole CD Projekt Red’s source code for Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3. In July of 2020, Nintendo’s source code for many SNES and Nintendo 64 games, including Super Mario Kart and unreleased Zelda game, was released in what has been dubbed the “Nintendo Gigaleak.”
It is unlikely that other credible developers would use EA’s source code, but hackers could craft cheats and hacks by getting a better look at the inner workings of a game. The code could also reveal secret projects and game ideas or developer comments which companies would prefer to remain hidden. Breaches like these also significantly affect the image of the company as a whole.
Along with EA’s proprietary tools and code, the hackers claim that they also have Microsoft Xbox and Sony SDKs and API keys available for sale. Hackers claim that they have stolen a total of 780GB of data through this breach.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) is an American video game company based in Redwood City, California found on May 27, 1982. It is currently the second-largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe in terms of revenue and market capitalization.
EA develops and publishes games of established franchises, including Battlefield, Need for Speed, The Sims, Medal of Honor, Command & Conquer, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Army of Two, Titanfall, and Star Wars, as well as the EA Sports titles FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Live, NHL, and EA Sports UFC.