Ukrainian warehouse used thousands of PS4 consoles as FIFA Ultimate Team bot farm

Authorities estimate that nearly 4,000 consoles were used to juice FIFA accounts to resell them for profit.

What would you do if you had a thousand PS4s? What about multiple thousands? We've all heard about the time that the US Air Force used 1,760 PlayStation 3 consoles to build a supercomputer.

What would you do if you had thousands of PS4s at your disposal?

A recent discovery made by Ukrainian authorities sees Sony's consoles being used for more criminal purposes this time.

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FIFA Ultimate Team bot farm house utilizes thousands of PS4s

The recent discovery just goes to show the lengths that some people will go to just to make a profit out of something.

According to a report by Eurogamer, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced that it had shut down a warehouse that housed 3,800 units of PlayStation 4 consoles. However, the initial report mentioned that the perpetrators used the seized units for mining cryptocurrency.

It wasn't until a few days later that authorities found out the main function of the "mining farm".

An investigation launched by Delo, a business newspaper based in Ukraine, later found out the truth behind the operation. As it turns out, the consoles weren't being used to mine cryptocurrency. Instead, the suspects had used the consoles to farm FIFA Ultimate Team for profit using PC-controlled bots.

The SBU later noted that they found other stuff in the warehouse as well. This includes, among other things, video cards and processors, suggesting that the entire operation was also involved in cryptocurrency.

You can only imagine just how many other similar operations exist all throughout the world.

In a weird and convoluted way, this confirms that players can still earn high-value cards in Electronic Arts' popular FIFA video game sports series.

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At the moment, the most convenient way to unlock high-value cards in FIFA Ultimate Team, a feature in the FIFA games, is to purchase loot boxes using real-world money.

This mechanic has been a subject of controversy in recent years. It has even reached a point that the Australian Prime Minister has pushed a ban on loot box purchases for underaged players. However, as the FIFA Ultimate Team bot farm proves, it is possible to get the cards you want without spending money on loot boxes.

Of course, to earn enough in-game currency to bid on the cards that you want in FIFA, an extensive operation similar to what the Ukrainian authorities just uncovered is necessary.

Basically, what the PS4s did was to play games all day and rack up as much in-game currency as possible. Once it had earned enough points, the operators would buy the best and most valuable player cards on the account then put the said account for sale on the black market for profit.

In other FIFA news, EA has revealed FIFA 22. The latest iteration in the FIFA series of games is set to release on October 1, 2021.

As is almost always the case, Electronic Arts' latest sports title has been met with criticism. In particular, fans aren't happy that the next-gen upgrade of FIFA 22 comes at such a high price. In addition to this, PC players have expressed their disappointment because FIFA 22 will not have Hyper Motion Technology, among other features, on the PC.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.