Has EA quietly owned up to the Xbox Live FIFA hacks?

AdamAnt

There’s a big problem with Xbox Live accounts being hacked and hijacked – possibly through some sort of phishing or social engineering feat. People have lost hundreds of Dollars in misspent MS Points and lost control of their Xbox Live accounts – and for some reason, the hijackings have largely been swept under the rug by Microsoft and EA.

What’s EA got to do with it? Well, the common factor in almost all of the account hijackings is that the appropriated MS Points are spent on extras for FIFA 12’s Ultimate Team add-ons. EA’s got a new patch for FIFA 12 hitting today that adds extra layers of security to Ultimate Team. In doing so, have they surreptitiously admitted responsibility?

Here’s what EA says of the new security improvements:

Your Security Is Paramount

We are immensely proud of the huge, passionate community that has built up around FIFA Ultimate Team and we’re committed to providing it with the value and support it deserves. The upgrades we are announcing today are just one part of a continual and expanding commitment to the service we provide our community, and right at the heart of a great community is the security of its members.

We’re committed to doing everything we can in our game to help keep you safe from phishers and scammers, and our March game update is key part of that commitment:

  • It will now only be possible to send trade offers to people on your friends list.
  • On entering FUT on your console for the first time after the update, you will be required to provide a unique answer to a security question.
  • If anyone else attempts to enter your FUT account from a different console, they will be required to enter the answer to your security question.
  • While these measures will certainly make life much more difficult for those attempting to compromise others’ accounts, it’s still vitally important that you protect your information.

You should never reveal your security question and answer to anyone, especially on a website other than the "ea.com" domain. Never give out your username or password. Never share your login credentials (e.g.: email address and password) for any reason. EA representatives will never ask you for your password. Non-EA individuals and/or websites that ask for your login information in exchange for discounted goods (e.g.: free virtual items) or other game-related services should not be trusted.

Microsoft’s rather adamant that Xbox Live’s security has been in no way compromised, with both them and EA claiming phishing as the culprit – something I’d be more inclined to believe were it not for the severity of the hijackings, and the number of high-profile accounts that’ve been tampered with. Affected users have sworn that they’ve not been duped by sites promising free Ms points and the like, and that their passwords were gained through a third party.

These new FIFA Ultimate Team security measure might be tacit admission or just a means to stop the hijackings from happening. either way, it’s about time. the update will be globally available today on Xbox Live. The PS3 update goes live today in north America, and starts rolling out to the rest of the world from tomorrow. See the huge list of Ultimate Team improvements and addons here.

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Author:Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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