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Cybersecurity

Electronic Arts Victimized by Malevolent Hackers Who Stole 780GB of Data

Tara Ragone

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Electronic Arts (EA) became the subject of a massive hacking breach when hackers allegedly stole the FIFA 21 source code, proprietary frameworks, software kits, frostbite engine source code, and code bundles from them. Approximately 780GB were snatched by the hackers and then sold on hacking forums only for ‘serious’ potential buyers. The EA spokesperson claims that players’ private information is not suspected to have been compromised and that the losses are minimal.

Game creator tool sets appear to be one of the main targets in this attack, but publishers for games including ‘Battlefield,’ ‘Apex Legends,’ and ‘Madden NFL 21’ proclaim their products have not been impacted. This assertion may be seen as skeptical considering the codes and tools attained are the lifelines for many games such as ‘Need for Speed,’ ‘Battlefield,’ ‘Madden,’ and ‘FIFA.’ Game programming depends on the control of designated source codes, so when hackers take that control away it enables them to cheat, steal designs and ideas, and give the  affected business(es) a bad name.


EA is working with law enforcement during the investigation of this hack, in hopes of getting to the bottom of how hackers were able to access their network. It is believed that EA did not have fully effective security measures in place at the time of the theft, but that they are now hiring for several security positions. The incident was reported to the public through news sources Thursday, but it is unclear exactly when the events took place. 

EA has firmly expressed that this scenario did not involve any ransom, thus differentiating it from the chain of ransomware attacks that have been experienced in the past month. EA has asserted that despite their previously missing security features, they have already begun taking action toward improvements. Reduced shares of up to 2.4% resulted from the cyber incident.

Tara Ragone is a tech blog writer who focuses primarily in areas concerning cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. She holds a BA degree in legal studies and MA degree in homeland security, both awarded by Keiser University. Tara has been fulfilling her passion to learn and write about essential groundbreaking topics by researching, analyzing, and writing in academic and professional environments for over five years.

Cybersecurity

Securing Your VPN Server

Tara Ragone

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Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) offer a great sense of security for individuals who need to connect to a system remotely. By using a VPN, a person can access an encrypted internet gateway without using his/her own private connection. 

VPNs are known to be a secure method for entering databases from any desired location in alternative to traveling to the actual location where a computer is, like an office setting. Despite the positives though, VPN users still face security threats such as a personal device being accessed by a cybercriminal somehow. 


To combat the risks associated with VPN use, refer to the below tips:

  • Enforce Policies. Most data systems operating in a defined location have policies in place so that users can protect information. Transferring these policies to remote VPN users will remind them to take caution when using their devices. Developing and enforcing penalties for users who fail to abide by the policies will lead to increased compliance.  
  • Implement Strong Authentication. Authentication methods will vary for VPNs depending on its purpose, but using the strongest one available is the safest.
  • Add Encryption. Adding encryption to your VPN will strengthen its defense against cybercrimes. 
  • Set Access Limitations. Limiting access to only the individuals who have a legitimate need to see and use particular data will allow easier monitoring. This will also lower the chances of information being exploited through a personal device.
  • Include Other Features. If features are available that allow tasks to be done without connecting to the VPN, they should be utilized to reduce unnecessary access
  • Require Additional Protection. Require that VPN users install extra layers of protection to their devices such as firewall and antivirus software.

VPN servers can easily become the target of a cyberattack. Follow the tips listed above to avoid the consequences of having a vulnerable server.

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Cybersecurity

Has Your Information Been Breached in a Hack? Here’s What You Can Do

Tara Ragone

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Hackers often target email and social media accounts as part of their schemes to steal your information. Being victimized by a hack can have a major detrimental effect on your reputation or can even lead to something as severe as identity theft. 

Knowing what to do if you are impacted by a hack is extremely important in order to minimize the negative effects right away. Below are essential steps you should take immediately to protect yourself and others after suffering a hack:


  • Change your password – You should quickly change your password on the hacked account and any other accounts you have guarded with the same password. If there are any hints at all regarding what your passwords might be (name of your pet, job, birthdate, etc.) then that is reason enough to change your passwords too.
  • Notify your contacts – Any contacts that are linked to your account should be notified as soon as possible about the hacking incident. This will help ensure they do not click on links or respond to hackers and unknowingly fall into the trap of a phishing or malware scam.
  • Report the hack – Reach out to local authorities to alert them of an active hack happening on your account. You may also want to speak to someone at your bank if you believe financial data was accessed during the illicit act. If the hack is very serious and you are concerned your information has been stolen and maliciously used, then you can report it at www.identitytheft.gov to receive assistance creating a recovery plan.
  • Review your account – Log into your account and check everything thoroughly to make sure there are no new or unusual links posted anywhere. Review your list of contacts or friends to verify no strange people have been added who were not there before. 

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Apple

Keeping Your Apple iPhone Secure and Hack-Free

Tara Ragone

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Apple has publicly stated that their iPhones are designed with security of your information and privacy in mind. Your iPhone is said to have protections built into it that prevent anyone from accessing data contained in your device itself or the iCloud. While this sounds convincing, Apple recommends you take some of the extra cautions listed below to prevent a security incident such as hacking:

  • Set a strong password – Make sure you set a password that is required to be entered prior to gaining access to anything in your iPhone. Do not use common or obvious words or phrases and ensure it is very unique.
  • Utilize Face ID or Touch ID – Supported iPhone models allow you to add security features that only authorize access to content in your phone upon physically seeing your face or identifying your fingerprint.
  • Activate ‘Find My iPhone’ – By activating the ‘find my iPhone’ feature on your device you will be able to locate it in the unfortunate case that it is stolen or lost. This may allow you to find the phone before anyone is able to somehow gain access or report it to authorities if warranted. 
  • Secure your Apple ID – Your Apple ID is what permits you to gain access to your iCloud and apps so ensuring this is protected sufficiently is important.

Additional security methods in the iPhone that can fight against hacks include adequately controlling data and location, reviewing privacy notices of apps prior to downloading them, and gaining an understanding of your browsing privacy. Apple links are provided for further information on all of the security suggestions mentioned hereinabove.


vpnMentor has admitted that Apple sets high standards for their users’ privacy and that their iPhones are likely more challenging for hackers to break into. Despite this though, it is believed that hackers can find ways around the sophisticated security measures set forth by Apple and even have used their creativity to spy on users through iPhone cameras. This information reiterates the idea that being extremely careful and mindful about apps that are downloaded and what is shared during that event can make or break a hacker’s malicious goal. 

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