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Electric Arts Hit by Hackers

Source: WSJ - Ian Sherr

Posted on 24 Jun 2011

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Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), based in Redwood City, California, said hackers recently breached some of its servers and stole customer information.

The videogame maker, the latest in a string of data breaches, posted an undated message on its website describing a "highly sophisticated and unlawful cyberattack" on its BioWare division that allowed hackers to steal information including names, encrypted passwords, email addresses and birth dates.

The data didn't include credit card information, the company said.

The breach of EA customer information is the latest in a series of attacks on videogame companies that follows a high-profile breach of Sony Corp.'s online videogame services. The Sony attack compromised the personal information of roughly 100 million accounts. Other videogame companies, including Square Enix Holdings Co., Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. and Nintendo Co., have also been attacked.

Some of the breaches, including ones on Bethesda Softworks LLC and Nintendo, have been claimed by a hacker group, calling itself Lulz Security. But many have occurred with no group explaining their motivation and without any immediate fallout.

The hackers targeted a bulletin board website for a videogame called "Neverwinter Nights" in the EA attack. Bulletin boards are used by groups to post messages online.

EA said it sent emails to customers explaining that it disabled some potentially affected accounts and reset passwords for others. The company also said it has implemented additional security controls.

"We will continue to do what is needed to protect your personal information," the company said on its websi