Fortnite bug gave hackers access to millions of accounts

Marion JacobsJan 21, 2019

Gamer World News host "Captain" Rob Steinberg on huge popularity of Fortnite and growing concerns of video game addiction.

Fortnite was 2018's top-earning game in 2018 with revenues of $2.4 billion, according to financial research company SuperData's latest report.

Check Point said all that was required for the attack to be successful was for a victim to click on a malicious link sent to them by hackers.

Once clicked, with no need for the user to enter any login credentials, their Fortnite username and password could immediately be captured.

Fortnite, for those still unaware, is a gaming phenomenon - drawing, according to Epic Games, 78.3 million players in August of 2018 alone.

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Eran Vaknin, a security researcher at Check Point, said that if you had linked your Epic Games' account to Facebook, the hack would have to go through the social network.

"Fortnite" has both voice and chat options allowing users to interact with anyone else playing the game, which leaves kids vulnerable to being solicited by predators.

Its players are often targeted for the V-Bucks - short for Vindertech Bucks or Vinderbucks in their accounts, an in-game currency that can be used to get cosmetic items for your character or to give it a competitive advantage through weaponry. Additionally, the firm found that "mentions of Fortnite on the dark web have risen in direct correlation with the game's monthly revenues". Check Point and Epic Games advise all users to remain vigilant whenever exchanging information digitally, and to practice safe cyber habits when engaging with others online. With it, hackers could steal user's access credentials, payment details linked to the account to purchase V-Buck in-game virtual currency, listen to in-game chatter and conversations in the victim's home and such.

Security firm Check Point Software, which announced its discovery of the vulnerability on Wednesday, said it had notified Fortnite's developer, Epic Games, in November. In conjunction with the vulnerabilities Check Point recently discovered in the platforms used by drone manufacturer DJI, these flaws highlight how susceptible cloud applications are to attacks and breaches. It suggests that players should be careful when sharing information online, and always question the legitimacy of messages - particularly ones bearing attachments or requesting the sharing of personal data.

"Enforcing two-factor authentication could mitigate this account takeover vulnerability", said Vanunu. To make things even worse, the security exploit made it possible for third-party entities to access the token set on a player's device after finding out their account ID and passwords.

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