Cybercriminals have hacked and stolen large amounts of data and code from Electronic Arts, the prominent gaming publisher responsible for producing The Sims, Battlefield, and a number of other classic games.
“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 provided to Gizmodo. “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 company did not say when the incident actually occurred.
A security professional shared a link with Gizmodo to the dark website where cybercriminals appear to be selling EA’s digital goods. According to the hackers, the cache is comprised of some 780GB of data, and includes full source code for the soccer game FIFA 21, as well as source code for the company’s game engine FrostBite — a core piece of software necessary for EA’s games to run properly.
First reported by Motherboard, the attack is one of several recent cyber incidents involving gaming companies. In November, the Japanese firm Capcom suffered a breach, leading to the potential compromise of data on hundreds of thousands of current and former employees and contractors. More recently, CD Projekt Red was hacked, leading to the theft of source code for some of the company’s biggest games — including Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher.
The motive here, like in many other cyberattacks, is financial: selling this kind of proprietary information on the dark web can net you big money. In the case of whoever hacked EA, they apparently only want offers from big, serious buyers. Motherboard reports that the hackers wrote in a dark web post: “Only serious and rep [reputation] members all other would be ignored.”