Breach, Content

Electronic Arts Cyberattack, Breach and Data Theft: Timeline and Incident Details


Electronic Arts has disclosed a data breach, in which hackers allegedly stole video game source code and associated tools. The EA cyberattack and breach did not involve ransomware.

Electronic Arts has not disclosed whether it has hired a third-party MSSP, MDR or forensics team to investigate the breach -- though it sounds like one or more third-party security firms may be assisting the video game company.

In a statement released to inquiring media, an EA spokesperson said:

"We are investigating a recent incident of intrusion into our network where a limited amount of game source code and related tools were stolen. 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. We are actively working with law enforcement officials and other experts as part of this ongoing criminal investigation."

Electronic Arts Data Breach: What Happened

Here's a timeline of the Electronic Arts cyberattack, and the video game maker's associated incident response efforts.

June 10, 2021:

  • Hackers said they have taken the source code for FIFA 21 (the popular soccer game that's known as football outside of the United States), as well as code for its matchmaking server. Source: Vice and Motherboard.
  • FIFA 21, life to date, has more than 25 million players across gaming consoles such as Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation, along with PC systems. Source: Electronic Arts.
  • The hackers also said they have obtained source code and tools for the Frostbite engine, which powers a number of EA games including Battlefield. Source: Vice and Motherboard.
  • Other stolen information includes proprietary EA frameworks and software development kits (SDKs), bundles of code that can make game development more streamlined. Source: Vice and Motherboard.
  • The hackers say they have 780gb of EA data, and are advertising it for sale in various underground hacking forum posts. Source: Vice and Motherboard.
  • No player data was accessed, and EA doesn't believe player privacy is at risk. Source: Electronic Arts.
  • The attack did not involve ransomware. Source: MarketWatch.
  • Electronic Arts stock ($EA) fell about 2.4 percent as chatter about the data breach spread into financial markets. Source: MarketWatch.

Check back for ongoing timeline and status updates.

Electronic Arts Business Background

Electronic Arts is a giant in the video game business. Indeed, EA revenue was $1.35 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.

Electronic Arts' flagship video game franchises include EA SPORTS FIFA, Battlefield, Apex Legends, The Sims, Madden NFL, Need for Speed, Titanfall, and Plants vs. Zombies, among other popular titles.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.