Fortnite Gamers Could Be Victims of Bitcoin Theft
Fans of the apocalyptic survival video game Fortnite should be on their guard when it comes to their bitcoin according to malware experts. For Californian-based cybersecurity firm, Malwarebytes Labs has detected malware that has been cleverly disguised as game cheat tools which can pilfer data and bitcoin from Fortnite gamers.
According to the company, the release of season six of the popular video game was the inspiration behind the bitcoin-burgling malware. Malwarebytes Labs’ lead malware intelligence analyst, Christopher Boyd, has revealed that the malware was discovered amongst YouTube hack videos featuring ‘free’ season passes, free Android versions of the game and free V-Bucks, Fortnite’s token which allows users to buy more content whilst playing.
These types of videos are often used by Fornite players who are looking for ways to dodge the game’s paywall and there are a number of videos on the internet which give tips on how to do this. In order to sniff out the malware, cyber experts had to subscribe to YouTube channels to watch Fortnite hack videos such as ‘New Season 6 Fortnite Hack Cheat Free Download September 2018 / WH / Aimbot/ Undetectable,’ ‘Fortnite Hack Free Download’ and ‘Fortnite Cheat.’
This prompted them to enter another site where they had to participate in a survey before downloading the offending malware disguised as a cheat tool. They found Trojan. Malpack which cyberthieves use to get access to Bitcoin wallets and steals users’ data. Once the malicious file is running on the system, it sends data to an IP address in Russia.
This is not by any means a new technique but nonetheless, it can cause a lot of damage and can also result in cybercriminals stealing data from steam sessions, cookies and browser session information leaving gamers in a very vulnerable position. Now Boyd is warning gamers to steer clear of the tempting cheats and offers available through Fortnite.
According to Malwarebytes Labs’, there have been as many as 1,207 people downloading the malware, a number which is rising fast. Luckily, no Bitcoin is believed to have been stolen at the time of writing, as the Malwarebytes investigation stopped it in its tracks, but the malicious Trojan could potentially disable system firewalls. And the Trojan is capable of spying on people’s private details and stealing personal log-in details.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Fortnite has been targeted and there have been previous security concerns especially with the Android version of the game. This is not available to download via the Google Play Store, so players have to ‘sideload’ it onto their device instead which is much less secure.
Another worrying thing to consider is that the majority of Fortnite players are young and unaware of the dangers of such scams, but they need to be warned as cybercriminals could hack into your personal data as well as pinching your bitcoin.
It is most timely then that October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the US which is raising awareness of safe internet use. Malwarebytes is a champion of the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and has been issuing advice on cybersecurity, whilst its researchers carry on scouting the web of threats and scams.
Its website features useful tips for parents to protect their children online. For more information visit https://blog.malwarebytes.com/101/2018/10/malwarebytes-is-a-champion-of-national-cyber-security-awareness-month/.
By Joy Lewis.