Hackers steal EA's FIFA, Battlefield source code, matchmaking server code
In a disturbing development, some hackers reportedly gained access to servers belonging to popular game developer Electronic Arts (EA). On underground hacking forums, the infiltrators claimed to have retrieved source code for the FIFA 21 game and EA's Frostbite engine that powers games including Battlefield. On the forums, the hackers said that "you have full capability of exploiting on all EA services."
Hackers stole data, posted it for sale on underground forums
EA is a renowned game development corporation credited with the creation of famous titles including Need for Speed, Battlefield, FIFA, and The Sims. According to a report by Vice, hackers accessed the game developer's servers and claimed to have stolen 780GB of data which has now been advertised for sale on underground hacking forums, some of which can only be viewed by members.
Frostbite engine source code, FIFA 21's matchmaking server code stolen
According to forum posts, the hackers have stolen source code and the matchmaking server's code for FIFA 21 in addition to source code and tools for EA's Frostbite engine that is the backbone for multiple hit titles such as Battlefield, FIFA, Madden, and Star Wars: Squadrons and Anthem. EA told Wired that the intrusion did not involve the use of ransomware.
Hackers also stole EA's proprietary frameworks and SDKs
EA is the latest game developer to fall victim to a string of video game source code leaks that even hit Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red. Vice claims to have viewed screenshots of posts that said the hackers are in possession of proprietary EA frameworks and software development kits (SDKs). This means that the hackers can now manipulate games as they wish.
Source code access makes it easier to manipulate in-game environments
Videogame cheat codes are usually developed by players who reverse-engineer game code. However, access to source code means that enthusiasts can develop in-game modifications, bend in-game physics, and control how players are matched, essentially breaking the game. For instance, in first-person shooter games like Battlefield, source code access can help enable auto-aim, shooting through walls and terrain, and even bypass anti-cheat measures.
EA acknowledges data breach, says player data was not accessed
While Vice didn't publish forum screenshots, EA acknowledged that it had suffered a data breach. A spokesperson for the game developer said, "No player data was accessed, and we have no reason to believe there is any risk to player privacy." The spokesperson added that after the breach, EA has made security improvements and it doesn't expect any impact on its games and business.
Hackers say they'll only entertain 'serious' buyers with a 'reputation'
The hackers reportedly shared screenshots on the forums to demonstrate their access to EA's data they claim to have stolen. However, the data itself wasn't distributed, probably since the hackers are attempting to sell it. The hackers' said they would entertain only "serious" buyers with "reputation". Meanwhile, EA is working with experts and law enforcement as part of a criminal investigation into the matter.