Electronic Arts Hacked, Game Source Code Stolen

Electronic Arts, one of the largest video game developers out there, was hacked and source code for a number of different games was taken

By Jason Collins | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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Hackers have breached the systems of Electronic Arts, one of the largest video game publishers in the world, just days after its digital distribution service got code-scrubbed for information. However, while code-scrubbing leaked information regarding the company’s upcoming titles, the new security breach leaked significantly more than that.

According to CNN Business, hackers have broken into Electronic Arts’ systems, obtaining 780 gigabytes worth of data from EA’s servers, including the Frostbite source code, which powers the FIFA, Madden, and Battlefield gaming series. Hackers also claim to have stolen software development tools for FIFA 21 and server codes for player matchmaking in FIFA 22’s multiplayer, advertising the “full capacity of exploiting on all EA services” for sale to potential “customers.” Fortunately, according to EA, the player data wasn’t compromised in the breach.

This could, and in all likelihood will pose a severe problem for EA’s business given their loss of control over source codes and software development kits. Theoretically speaking, if other developers got hold of EA’s source code, they could copy it or use it to create gaming hacks. Hackers can even comb through the code and identify any deeper flaws for future exploits and malicious intents. They can even sell those exploits on the dark web to other mischievous individuals. But given how player data wasn’t compromised, this only puts Electronic Arts at risk and perhaps potential video game cheaters.

Electronic Arts’ spokesperson already stated the company’s investigation into the recent intrusion. According to EA, only a limited amount of game source code and software development kits were stolen. The company already made security improvements, assuring its customers that the breach won’t affect its games or business. It’s worth noting that this is a second, albeit far more severe, information theft EA suffered in the last few days. Several days ago, its digital distribution service, Origin, got successfully code-scrubbed.

Though code-scrubbing isn’t considered hacking, it did leak some information on the upcoming Battlefield 6 game, mainly regarding its official name and its release date, which was later confirmed in the game’s reveal. It’s worth noting that the newly revealed Battlefield 2042 video game runs on the very same Frostbite engine whose code was stolen by the perpetrators of the recent security breach. Anyone with knowledge of the Frostbite engine’s code could develop hacks for the upcoming game, which would give dishonest players an unfair edge.

Electronic Arts have confirmed, in both instances, that the information listed was, in fact, the stolen data. Hackers responsible for the attack and data theft shared a small selection of screenshots demonstrating their access to EA’s data but haven’t publically distributed any data whatsoever. “If you’re good at something, never do it for free,” said Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Hackers must’ve taken it to heart. The forums on which the hackers advertise the stolen data aren’t accessible to the general public. As per their advertisement, they’ll only sell their unfairly acquired data to serious and reputable forum community members.