EA Sports’ FIFA and Ultimate Team trading card feature has had some ugly issues with security. One of the more popular techniques involved unscrupulous folks accessing other players’ Xbox Live accounts and using the saved credit card information to buy hundreds of dollars worth of points. The thieves would then transfer the points to another Live account to buy Ultimate Team trading card packs. We had a few forum members of Quarter to Three that were hit with variations this exploit.
With the next-gen consoles’ emphasis on a cloud-based future, one can imagine that the bad guys are already thinking up ways to foil the system. EA told Eurogamer that they are thinking very seriously about this issue.
Wilson told us that Microsoft and Sony are re-architecturing their networks to increase security, adding double authentication among other things. As for EA, Wilson said the company has started investing in a brand new ID system to be built on top of the first-party networks that will be rolled out this year. “That should make gamers feel better,” Wilson said.
“We haven’t had any major or serious attacks. You never say never, but we understand the value of information and privacy and the value of maintaining the integrity of the data. We are investing heavily – I mean heavily – in that and I believe first parties also are.”
Both Microsoft and EA maintain that none of the Live account breaches involving FIFA were the direct result of hacking. They point to phishing and user error as culprits. EA hopes that its next-gen approach to security will help solve the issues.