Hacked EA Files Released After Extortion Fails

Hacked EA Files FIFA 21 source code cover

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Hacked EA Files Released After Extortion Fails

August 2, 2021

By: Robert N. Adams

View more Games Info
Developer
Electronic Arts
Publisher
Electronic Arts
Release Date
October 2, 2020
Genre
Sports
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Hacked EA files allegedly stolen nearly two months ago — including FIFA 21 source code — were apparently released on the Dark Web following a failure to extort Electronic Arts for their return.

Back in June, a group of hackers claimed to have seized over 780 GB of data from Electronic Arts. Among the hacked EA files was the source code to several games and proprietary tech, most notably the source code for FIFA 21 and the Frostbite Engine. (Fortunately, EA says that there was no player information included in the stolen data.)

Since then, the hackers apparently shopped the data around on the black market looking for a buyer. Unfortunately, no one was biting and the group allegedly turned to attempting to extort EA for their return. As The Record reports, those attempts have apparently failed, too — and so the hackers have released the files onto the Dark Web.

Hacked EA files FIFA 21 source code released files The Record.jpg
This is one of many screenshots of the treasure trove of hacked EA files reportedly released online. (Image Credit: The Record.)

The Record proceeded to share a number of images showing the contents of FIFATest.tar, a .tar file that appears to include all of the bits and pieces that make up FIFA 21. It's unclear if the entire 780 GB that was allegedly stolen was released online or if the hacking group only released a portion.

 
 

Although EA hasn't budged on the hackers' demands, it has been conscious of upgrading its security going forward; a similar hack is unlikely to go as smoothly in the future. Of course, it's not letting this whole thing slide, either — Electronic Arts is working with law enforcement to find the alleged hackers.

"Following the incident, we’ve already made security improvements and do not expect an impact on our games or our business," an EA spokesman said to The Record. "We are actively working with law enforcement officials and other experts as part of this ongoing criminal investigation."

EA Hack FIFA 21 source code released slice

What Does the EA Hack Mean for FIFA 21 Players?

Although EA says no player data has been stolen, the reported release of the hacked EA files presents another problem — the source code for FIFA 21, the Frostbite engine, and goodness knows what else may now be freely available to those who know where to find it.

Cheat-makers having access to the source code for a game or engine could have a field day figuring out how to work around any anti-cheat methods built into the engine. What's especially troubling is the fact that EA's upcoming shooter Battlefield 2042 uses an enhanced version of the Frostbite engine — we could very well see much more problems with cheating and hackers in the game on launch as a result.

Do you think the release of the hacked EA files is going to have a negative impact on Electronic Arts' games? Let us know in the comments below!

 
A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!

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