Electronic Arts game code stolen by hackers, for sale on internet

It's the latest in a line of high-profile hacking attacks to hit around the world this year.
It's the latest in a line of high-profile hacking attacks to hit around the world this year Photo credit: Getty Images

Electronic Arts (EA), the publisher behind gaming franchises like FIFA, The Sims and Battlefield, has been attacked by hackers who claim to have stolen game source code.

The cybercriminals say they've stolen a total of 780gb of data including the code for FIFA 21 as well as the code and tools for the Frostbite engine, which powers games like Star Wars Battlefront II and the Need For Speed franchise, according to Vice.

The hackers are advertising it for sale on underground forums viewed by the website, telling prospective purchasers "you have full capability of exploiting on all EA services".

EA confirmed that it had been hacked but said no player data has been accessed or stolen in the breach.

"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 told Vice's Motherboard.

It said security improvements had already been made in light of the attack and did not expect an impact on games or its business.

"We are actively working with law enforcement officials and other experts as part of this ongoing criminal investigation."

CD Projekt Red, developers of Cyberpunk 2077 - one of the bigger gaming releases of 2020 - was similarly breached earlier this year. Hackers demanded a ransom or they would put the game's source code online.

The company refused to pay and cut off external access to its systems, impacting on the ability of employees to do their jobs. That meant a planned patch to fix issues with the game was delayed.

Hackers have hit the headlines around the world in the last few weeks with the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in the US causing short-term fuel shortages, despite a ransom being paid.

A similar attack caused significant issues, including leaked personal data and delayed operations, for Waikato District Health Board (DHB) patients.