The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes that hackers may have stolen millions of dollars from Electronic Arts via their soccer simulator game FIFA. Four hackers were allegedly mining virtual FIFA coins from EA’s servers and selling them to black market dealers in Europe and China.
Defendant Anthony Clark went on trial in Texas this morning for conspiracy to commit wire fraud with three other hackers. They are believed to have accumulated between $15-18 million in FIFA coins from 2013 to 2015. The coins are usually acquired through playing matches or bought with real-world money, but Clark and his associates are said to have built a tool that sends false signals to the EA servers to make them believe that multiple matches were occurring very quickly. This rapidly generated FIFA coins for the group.
The FBI has seized the cash and various other assets from the group, including multiple Xbox 360s and a Lamborghini. The group is also said to have been connected to Xbox Underground, a larger hacker organization which has stolen software from Valve and Microsoft in the past. A member of this organization had helped reverse-engineer the FIFA source code in order to create the tool the hackers used.
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