Fake Fortnite apps found spying on Android gamers

Cybercriminals lick their lips as Fortnite comes to Android

While gamers get caught up in the buzz around the imminent arrival of Fortnite on Android, cybercriminals are already anticipating a cash-rich bonanza for malware.

There have been a number of reports of Android malware packages disguised as the game and experts warn that gamers should be patient and not be tempted to download these infected apps.

Already scammers have been enticing gamers with both search queries and YouTube video ads. What’s more some villains have been using the app icon and loading screen from the game then claiming it as a new update that requires user verification, allowing the criminals to install their malware.

This particular scam nets the authors a commission and the hapless user keeps authorising them in the faint hope of getting their fake copy of Fortnite to actually play.

Of course, the sure-fire way to avoid any scams is to wait for the official game to come out. Which, Epic said would be sometime this summer. No exact date has, so far been released.

But, as has been seen in the past, fanatical gamers are not the most patient of people.

The temptation for enthusiasts, blinded by fandom and the inevitable peer kudos of getting to play early, combined with the real advantage of not being subjected to real post-release media spoilers, is such that it subverts the good sense to prevent one exploring the realm of questionable websites and dodgy video instructions only to be led down the path to malicious game ending malware.

- Steve Giguere: Lead EMEA Engineer, Synopsis Security

Fortnite by Epic Games is a global phenomenon with an estimated 45 million players with more than three million concurrent users. While free to download it makes money by selling digital costumes, called skins. Each day a new wardrobe is released and those who design the skins have become internet superstars.

When released on the iOS the game generated sales of $5.3 million in the first ten days. By 90 days revenue hit the $100 million mark.

For industry watchers Fortnite may be more than just another successful game transposing from PCs and consoles to mobile devices. It could, as one sage noted, be the most important development of games on mobile devices ever seen.

We often view mobile games as the lesser creations of their PC and console counterparts but Fortnite has been able to transpose itself completely intact. This is an acknowledgement that developments, such as graphics on iOS and Android is less of an issue.

Most impressively, Fortnite can be played seamlessly across all platforms. You can have one account and play it on all your devices and across platforms with other players. Now it would not be a clever idea to play on a tablet against your friends on a PC but just being able to signals a massive sea-change in gaming.

Image: BagoGames

By:

A veteran freelance journalist writing extensively on internet news and cybersecurity.
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