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EA Breach: Hackers release entire cache of stolen data

EA data breach

In June, Vice’s Motherboard reported that gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA) had suffered a data breach. Hackers had reportedly stolen close to 780 GB of data from EA.

It was stated that the data breach included the source code for games such as FIFA 21, the source code of the Frostbite Engine, FIFA 21 matchmaking server code, proprietary EA game frameworks, among various others. Security Affairs reports that the data breach also includes XBOX and SONY private API keys and SDKs, along with FIFA 22 API keys, SDKs, and debugging tools.

A new article from The Record has said that the hackers who caused the EA data breach have now released the entire cache of stolen data on an underground cybercrime forum. The stolen data was dumped on the forum on Monday, July 26th, and is now being widely distributed on various torrent sites.  

“According to a copy of the dump obtained by The Record, the leaked files contain the source code of the FIFA 21 soccer game, including tools to support the company’s server-side services.”

via Catalin Cimpanu from The Record

This incident reportedly took place after the hackers failed to extort the company and sell the files to a third-party buyer.

What is the EA breach?

On June 10th, the hackers posted a thread on underground hacking forums claiming to be in possession of the aforementioned data from EA. They were willing to sell all the data, which was a total of 780 GB, for a whopping $28 million.

According to the hackers themselves in an online chat with Motherboard, they used Slack, a business communication platform, to trick an employee into giving them a login token. They achieved this by purchasing stolen cookies from Genesis, a dark web marketplace. This is how the hackers gained access to an internal Slack channel, after which they contacted IT support to gain access to EA’s corporate network.

Motherboard confirmed that the hackers even provided them with screenshots containing evidence of every step of the hack, including the Slack chats as well. They also provided a set of stolen documents containing material on PlayStation VR, AI in games, and also how EA creates digital crowds in FIFA 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. 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.”

via an earlier statement made by an EA spokesperson to Motherboard

The hackers reportedly emailed EA for a ransom demand but they hadn’t received any response. They even released a compressed 1.3 GB cache of data on July 14th relating to the company’s Origin store and other internal EA tools to try and force the issue of ransom, but to no avail.

Current status

As of now, after failed attempts of extortion and also the sale of the whole 780 GB of data that was allegedly stolen, the entirety of the stolen data has been released online. This comes only 2 weeks after EA ignored the hackers’ threats.

In a statement to The Record, an EA spokesperson stated that “no player data was accessed” during the breach, and EA “has no reason to believe there is any risk to player privacy”. He even mentioned that EA has already made security improvements while reiterating that they expect no impact on their games or business.

About the author

Arjun Ramprasad

Arjun Ramprasad is an undergraduate law student from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad with a flair for anything technology. If not here, you can find him performing on various stages as a percussionist.

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