Last month, EA suffered a data breach where about 780GB of data was stolen by hackers who were looking to find a buyer and gain a considerable amount for the data. The leaked data contained the source code of EA’s latest installment of their famous football franchise, FIFA 21.
However, when they failed to find someone to sell the data to, as most cybercrime groups are interested in personal or financial information instead of source code, the hackers tried to extort the company and demanded an undisclosed sum. When EA shunned their threats, the entirety of the source code was leaked online and is now available on several torrent sites to download.
How was FIFA 21’s source code leaked?
The hack was made possible through authentication cookies for an EA internal slack channel which the hackers bought from Genesis, a dark web marketplace. These cookies were then used to gain access to the EA’s Slack channel by impersonating an EA’s employee account which was already logged in. Access to the company’s internal network was then granted by the staff of EA’s IT support.
When the hackers got access to the company’s internal code repositories, about 780GB of FIFA 21 source code was downloaded. All of this was revealed by the hackers in an interview with Motherboard.
No private information was obtained
EA confirmed in a statement sent to The Record that during the FIFA 21 source code leak, “no player data was accessed” and a following statement which explained that criminal proceedings were underway and security improvements have already been made to prevent such a hack in the future. This was the statement sent by EA to The Record.
“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.”
Companies are venerable
This was not the first time a video game source code was leaked. Companies such as Nintendo, Capcom, Ubisoft and even Valve had similar data breaches last year. CD Projekt Red was also a victim of a ransomware attack and the developer has informed that some amount of data has now leaked and available on the internet. The problem with these types of leaks is that through the source code, hackers know exactly how a game functions which can lead to serious problems for multiplayer games and even the players’ security.
According to OverkillLabs, “Hackers are definitely targeting more high-profile games and companies in recent years than they had before, either for reputation or to prove to the big companies that their security has flaws in it, or simply to gain money from them.”
Images of the FIFA 21 source code
The Record shared the source code images which are listed down below.