Hackers ditch FIFA 21 secrets online after failed extortion attempt

(Image credit: EA Sports)

The hackers behind last month's EA data breach have released all of the files they stole from the video game maker after failing to both extort the company or find a third-party buyer.

As reported by The Record, the hackers recently released 751GB of compressed EA data including the source code of FIFA 21 on an underground hacking forum.

For those unfamiliar, details of the EA data breach first emerged online back in June when the hackers posted a thread on an underground hacking forum in which they claimed to be in possession of source code, SDKs and other proprietary tools from the company.

As EA is a giant in the video games industry that brought in $5.54bn in revenue in 2020 alone, the hackers believed that they could earn a big payday by selling their stolen data. However, this wasn't the case as the data they stole from the company didn't contain any personal or financial data that other cybercriminals would be interested in purchasing.

Failed extortion attempt

After failing to find a buyer online, the hackers then tried to extort EA according to a report from Motherboard by asking the company to pay an undisclosed sum to avoid having its proprietary data leaked online. In fact at one point, the hackers even went so far as to ask the news outlet to “directly deliver an extortion message to EA on their behalf”.

EA refused to meet the hackers demands which is why they have now dumped 751GB of compressed data from the company on an online hacking forum.

The Record was able to obtain a copy of this data and after looking through the leaked files, it found they contain the source code for FIFA 21 along with tools used to support EA's server-side services. The leaked data is also now being widely distributed on torrent sites.

In a statement to The Record, an EA spokesperson provided an update on the situation while also explaining that “no player data was accessed” as a result of the data breach, saying:

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

Via The Record

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.