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Video game maker EA says hackers stole source code

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Game enthusiasts and industry personnel watch scenes from 'Battlefield One' during the Electronic Arts EA Play event on June 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California./AFP
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Jun 11, 2021 - 09:42 AM

WASHINGTON — Electronic Arts said Thursday hackers managed to steal source code and other software tools from the video game giant, but that the attack was unlikely to have an impact on gamers or business operations.

EA, the maker of popular titles such as “Battlefield,” acknowledged the breach after a report by Vice Media that attackers had made off with the code used for games including FIFA 21 and the Frostbite engine, which powers some EA 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,” an EA spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“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.”

EA said it was “actively working with law enforcement officials and other experts as part of this ongoing criminal investigation.”

Vice reported that hackers had boasted about the attack on underground internet forums, with one post reportedly saying, “You have full capability of exploiting on all EA services.”

The hackers were advertising the stolen software for sale in various dark web forums, according to the report.

The news follows a wave of high-profile cyberattacks in recent months including several ransomware attacks on industrial firms and health care facilities, and breaches of government and nonprofit networks attributed to espionage efforts.

The attack on EA comes as major video game makers were set to participate in the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) being held virtually beginning Saturday due to the pandemic.

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