Electronic Arts, one of the world’s biggest video game publishers including games such as FIFA, Madden, Sims and Medal of Honor, are the latest company to be hacked.
On 6th June, hackers on a forum claimed to have obtained 780 gigabytes of data from EA, including the Frostbite source code, which is the game engine that powers games including FIFA, Madden, and the Battlefield series, among others.
Brett Callow, cybersecurity expert and threat analyst at Emsisoft commented on the potential problems that may arise for EA as a result of losing control over the source code: “source code could, theoretically, be copied by other developers or used to create hacks for games,” he said.
“Hackers can comb through the code, identify deeper flaws for exploit, and sell that previous code on the dark web to malicious threat actors.” said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the cybersecurity firm Check Point.
The threat actor responsible for the hack has announced they will be selling the stolen code (and other information, including points that can be used as in-game currency) for $28 million, according to BleepingComputer, who reportedly spoke to the hacker.
We are investigating a recent incident of intrusion into our network where a limited amount of game source code and related tools were stolen,” an EA spokesperson said in a statement.
“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.”
The spokesperson also added that the breach was not caused by a ransomware attack.