A scam designed to steal bitcoin from Fortnite players has been discovered by Malware Byte Labs. The malware is disguised as a set of cheating tools for players who want to get ahead in the immensely popular battle royal game. The malware was available on YouTube videos offering free season passes and Android versions of the game. The scam was very basic yet highly effective, targeting susceptible individuals.
How the Fortnite scam worked
Fortnite Season 6 is newly released and much anticipated. It is the ideal platform for these types of scams. In this case, the malware involved YouTube videos disguised as game cheats. This is quite common and very effective. Some of the videos gained more than 100,000 views before being caught for violating YouTubes’ terms and conditions of service. YouTube videos had titles such as ‘New Season 6 Fortnite Hack Cheat Free Download September 2018 / WH / Aimbot/ Undetectable’.
Most successful scams require a degree of social engineering, where people need to be convinced that a product, person, or service is accredited and trustworthy. But with this type of video game scam the standard of “scam quality” is lowered. A lot of players might be younger and less mature, trying to ‘cheat’ at a popular video game. Most others view these free products with suspicion. All too commonly, free tools come with some type of malware or ulterior motive such as data tracking or are frequently outright scams.
Users downloaded an executable file (a cardinal sin in online security) for free Fortnite 6 passes.
When run, the file had the potential to extract data regarding bitcoin wallets, Steam sessions, cookies, and browser session information. Users were also required to complete a survey before accessing the downloads, which would be avoided by most mature individuals with a basic level of online security sense. The name of the scam site is bt-fortnite-cheats.tk (since taken down) and the POST command was sent to a Russian address.
An ominous future for online security
Unfortunately, with new games, new consoles, AI, augmented reality, virtual reality, distributed ledger technology, digital identities, and the rise of wearable technology, the number of attack vectors at a hackers disposal is enormous, limited only by the creativity of the virus creator. And with teenagers live on multiple platforms and machines interacting with both people and (in the near future) Artificial Intelligence, the risk is great. All hyperbole aside, they are the perfect prey for ruthless criminals.
Online security is of paramount importance, and despite the rise of online criminal activity, we are only at the beginning. In the meantime, users are advised to ignore anything free relating to Fortnite 6 and to avoid clicking on any non-official links in general. Read reviews beforehand, download applications from official stores, and take some basic online security precautions.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.