On June 10, it was reported that EA suffered a massive data breach. The stolen data includes source code for FIFA 21, the Frostbite engine, and other development. Now we know how it happened.
How hackers broke into Electronic Arts
According to Vice’s Motherboard, the group of hackers broke into the company by tricking an employee at the publishing giant over Slack. A representative for the hackers told Vice that things were put in motion after purchasing stolen cookies for $10. Next, they used them to access a Slack channel used by EA. Cookies can oftentimes save a user’s login details. In this particular case, the stolen cookie allowed the hackers to enter the Slack channel and pose as an EA employee who “lost his phone at a party last night.”
Once inside, hackers got in touch with EA IT and requested an authentication token in order to access the company’s corporate network. This worked “two times” according to the rep. From there, they successfully logged into the service for EA devs to compile games. The hackers created a virtual machine for greater visibility, entered one more service, and started downloading source code. Pretty easy, huh?
According to the hackers’ rep, the group got its hands on an assortment of PlayStation VR material, documents about AI, and how EA creates digital crowds in FIFA.
Statement from EA
Electronic Arts released a statement shortly after the breach was reported.
“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.”
What are your thoughts on the EA data breach? Are you surprised by its simplicity? Let us know in the comments below. As always stay tuned to Sports Gamers Online as we continue to follow the details as they come out.