By Christine Schönig, Regional Director Security Engineering CER, Office of the CTO, at Check Point Software Technologies GmbH
Christine Schönig, Regional Director Security Engineering CER, Office of the CTO at Check Point
It is currently on everyone’s lips, especially in the gamer community: one of the world’s largest game publishers, EA Games, has been the victim of a hack. Delicate: The group is known, among other things, for the football video game series FIFA, whose offshoots FIFA 21 and FIFA 22 are now likely to enjoy great popularity because the European Championship is just around the corner. Now it is reported that the source codes of these two games were stolen. This not only harms the company, but can also be dangerous for the players, because in addition, the hackers themselves claim, the criminals have stolen some developer programs for FIFA 21 and the server code for the matchmaking of FIFA 22. A total of 780 gigabytes of data was lost, including the source code for the famous Frostbite engine that powers popular game series such as Madden NFL, Battlefield and FIFA.
“When hackers get their hands on a source code, it’s a valuable catch. With such information in your hands, you can easily see the inner workings of a video game, exploit security vulnerabilities, and even abuse these games for malicious purposes because you are now able to change the program code. These activities can expand if the hackers sell their stolen goods on the Dark Net. There are reports that the source code from the data leak at EA Games is already being advertised there. However, this is not surprising, because hackers usually act quickly to turn their stolen goods into money-and with the sale of a source code from EA Games, someone can make a lot of money on the Dark Net. After all, EA Games is one of the largest publishers of video games worldwide and a successful listed company.“
A similar incident occurred in February when CD Project, the Polish publisher and developer of the popular game series The Witcher, was attacked-but there was also a ransomware in the game. Source codes were also stolen. A consequence for the company, which is also listed on the stock exchange: the share price in Frankfurt fell steadily from 64 euros on February 9, when the press reported broadly, and is currently only 39 euros.