(CNN Business) — Hackers broke into the systems of Electronic Arts, one of the world’s largest video game developers, and stole the source code used in the company’s video games, a spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business on Thursday.
Online forum posts reviewed by CNN Business and vetted by an independent cybersecurity expert show that on June 6, hackers claimed to have obtained 780 gigabytes of data from EA, including the source code for Frostbite, which is the engine behind it. powers FIFA, Madden, and the Battlefield series, among other titles.
The hackers claimed to offer “full exploit capabilities across all EA services.” They also claimed to have stolen software development tools for FIFA 21 and server code for player matchmaking in FIFA 22.
Brett Callow, a cybersecurity expert and threat analyst at Emsisoft, said losing control over source code could be problematic for EA. “The source code could theoretically be copied by other developers or used to create hacks for games,” he said.
Player data was not compromised in this breach, the EA spokesperson told CNN.
“We investigated a recent intrusion incident on our network where a limited amount of game source code and related tools were stolen,” said the EA spokesperson. “Player data was not accessed and we have no reason to believe that there is any risk to player privacy. After the incident, we already made security improvements and we do not expect an impact on our games or our business. We are actively working with law enforcement and other experts as part of this ongoing criminal investigation. “
The data leak was first reported by Vice, who cited some of the same forum posts. EA’s spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business that EA’s statement is in response to the infringement reported by Vice.
This hack occurs as cyberattacks are once again gaining more attention with ransomware attacks affecting major infrastructure companies such as meatpacker JBS USA and pipeline fuel distributor Colonial.
The EA incident was not a ransomware attack, the spokesperson noted.