Report: EA Games server compromised, hackers stealing Apple ID, credit card & Origin account info

Update: EA said in a statement that it’s investigating the reports (via TheVerge):

“Privacy and security are of the utmost importance to us, and we are currently investigating this report… We’ve taken immediate steps to disable any attempts to misuse EA domains…”

According to a report from internet security and research company Netcraft, hackers have compromised an EA Games server and are currently using it to host a phishing site that steals Apple IDs and more from unsuspecting users. The company published its report today and says it contacted EA yesterday to report the discovery, but as of publishing the compromised server and the phishing site stealing Apple IDs were still online.

Netcraft claims the phishing site being hosted on EA’s servers not only asks for an Apple ID and password but also the user’s “full name, card number, expiration date, verification code, date of birth, phone number, mother’s maiden name, plus other details that would be useful to a fraudster.” Netcraft also reports that EA Games is being targeted in other phishing attacks that are attempting to steal user data from its Origin game distribution service: Read more

EA says reports Apple paid for Plants vs Zombies 2 iOS exclusive ‘an unfortunate misunderstanding’

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Yesterday a story popped up Giant Bomb claiming that EA executive Frank Gibeau said Apple had paid the company a “truckload of money” to launch PopCap’s much anticipated Plants vs Zombies 2 title as an iOS exclusive. Apple quickly denied the comments in a brief statement following the story and said that no money was exchanged with the publisher. As if that wasn’t enough, EA representatives today issued an official statement on the matter saying that the comment was taken out of context (via PocketGamer):

“A comment from an internal meeting taken out of context has created an unfortunate misunderstanding,” says EA’s statement.

“Reports of a paid relationship between Apple and EA are factually inaccurate, and we apologise for any confusion.”

Gibeau’s comments were clearly taken out of context, and we tend to believe that Apple didn’t offer up any cash in exchange for Plants vs Zombies 2 landing on iOS before Android. But what did he really mean with his “truckload of money” comment? Perhaps EA knew it would receive favorable placement in the App Store as a much hyped iOS exclusive?

There are a lot of unanswered questions about how Apple goes about featuring and ranking apps on the App Store, but it’s big money for developers who often see enormous boost in revenue and downloads when featured on the store.

Last month a report from Fiksu noted changes in how Apple ranks apps and seems to be incorporating user ratings and other new metrics, but this is the first we’ve heard of Apple possibly working with developers to have apps launch exclusively on iOS.

App Store becomes EA’s biggest retail partner by sales for the first time in June

EA-iconAs noted by VentureBeat, EA revealed today during its earnings call with investors that for the first time, Apple has become “EA’s biggest retail partner as measured by sales” as a result of the App Store. It’s a big announcement for the publisher that previously sold the majority of its content through retail channels for console games, and it could be a sign that EA will be investing more in iOS and other mobile titles in the months to come. In its earnings release, the company noted that it was “the #1 global publisher in the iOS game market in the June quarter,” and also highlighted a few of its more successful iOS titles, including: The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Real Racing 3, and The Sims: Read more

BMW app integration, Plants vs Zombies 2, IM+, Pac-Man, StreamBoard, deals, more

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News:

BMW iOS app integration: Following some recent Siri Eyes Free news from Chevrolet, BMW announced today that it has partnered with handful of developers to bring similar eyes free experiences for a number of third-party iOS apps to its vehicles. BMW has partnered with Audible for audio books, Glympse for location sharing services, Rhapsody for subscription music and TuneIn for internet radio, all of which will be updating their apps in the weeks to come for compatibility with the BMW Apps system.

Plants vs Zombies 2: PopCap announced today that part two of its incredibly popular Plants vs Zombies title is finally going to land on iOS in additional to all the other usual platforms “early summer.”  No clues on what might be included in the second installment, but in the meantime PopCap will launch a new version of the game on Facebook.

App Updates:

IM+ Instant Messenger version 7.7: A nice update to the very popular IM+ service today offers Beep mobile-to-mobile service as an in-app purchase, the ability to preview transferred images directly in chats, and the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements. iPad users will also now be able to capture photos and videos in the app.

StreamBoard version 5.0: The Twitter client that lets you track keywords and hashtags in real-time is updated to version 5.0 with many new features and enhancements:

For this incredible milestone, StreamBoard has been rewritten from the ground up bringing to you:
- A brand new streamlined interface powered by gestures
- A reimagined filter view featuring real-time graphs that you can interact with
- Much improved engine for faster speed!
- and many more!

Pac-Man version 3.5.0: iOS 6 support and new features for the Pac-Man iPad app.

Added support for iOS 6
Fixed Game Center issue for iOS 6
Updated More Games functionality

Deals: Read more

Popular iOS physics-based puzzler ‘Cut the Rope’ lands on Mac App Store with HD graphics

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Developer ZeptoLab UK Limited released a Mac App Store version of its physics puzzler Cut the Rope originally released by publisher Chillingo on iOS in October 2010. According to Chillingo, the iOS game reached over 1 million downloads in just nine days and the franchise has now hit over 100 million downloads. The Mac App Store version is the first full desktop release of the game and it was optimized for landscape orientation with “crisp images on monitors up to 2560×1440 resolution.”

ZeptoLab also redesigned some of the game’s original levels for a smooth experience with mice and trackpads. Scoreloop is supported currently when it comes to online leaderboards, but the press release said there would be support for Game Center on OS X when it launches. The game is available on the Mac App Store now as a 133MB download and features 250 levels and 10 level boxes for $4.99 (requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher). The full press release is after the break (via Reuters):

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