After a group of hackers managed to infiltrate Electronic Arts’ servers last month, hackers are starting to make some of this information public in hopes of forcing EA to pay a ransom.
A sensitive data leak
According to the motherboard, hackers managed to steal almost 780 GB of data, and after trying to sell it, they are now partially releasing snippets of information. A 1.3 GB compressed archive released by the hackers appears to contain references to internal EA development tools as well as the Origin cloud gaming platform. In a forum post accompanying the data dump, the hackers explicitly state that they are trying to blackmail EA:
A few weeks ago we emailed EA for a ransom, but we haven’t received a response so we will post the dates. If you don’t contact us or pay us, we’ll keep posting it.
All of the stolen data is already known to contain source code for the Frosbite engine used in games like Battlefield, in-house development tools, and software development kits. The hackers also reportedly provided screenshots to the motherboard that appear to show data related to The Sims. According to the media company Wired, the stolen data, including the source code, could be used to create cheat software.
electronic art answer
While EA has always said it did not receive such a request, the company is now threatened with extortion. In a statement on Tuesday, an EA spokesperson told Motherboard:
We are aware of the latest news from these alleged pirates and we are analyzing the published files. For now, we continue to believe that it does not contain any data that could pose problems for player privacy and we have no reason to believe that there is any material risk to our games, business or players. We continue to work with federal authorities as part of the ongoing criminal investigation.
EA added that it made security improvements following the incident.
Motherboard reports that hackers broke into EA by buying a Slack login token from an underground market. Hackers then searched EA’s network before finding the source code and other data.