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Fortnite interest on dark web surges as hackers seek to exploit Battle Royale players

Mentions of the popular game have doubled in online criminal forums since the start of the year

Anthony Cuthbertson
Wednesday 12 September 2018 14:53 BST
Interest in Fortnite on the dark web swelled in August
Interest in Fortnite on the dark web swelled in August (Epic Games)

Underground forums on the dark web are showing an increasing interest in Fortnite: Battle Royale, as the game's popularity spreads from players to cyber criminals.

Researchers at security firm Digital Shadows discovered the trend after analysing dark web pages and chat messages over the past year.

Since launching in 2017, Fortnite has exploded in popularity and now boasts more than 125 million players online.

Such user numbers have not gone unnoticed by hackers, with mentions of the game across forums and dark web pages almost doubling between January and August.

"This increased interest around Fortnite is reflected in the criminal underground," the researchers said.

"While there were 265 mentions in January 2018, this swelled to over 500 in August 2018. Some will be avid gamers themselves, but many of these discussions are more nefarious.

Michael Marriott, a senior strategy and research analyst at Digital Shadows, told The Independent that cyber criminals will use a range of tactics to probe vulnerabilities and exploit players.

“The popularity of Fortnite has made it an attractive target for cybercriminals, who look to steal account credentials and trick users into downloading malicious files," Mr Marriott said.

"Users should be wary of any 'too good to be true' promotions, verify the website is the legitimate, enable multi-factor authentication, and only download the Android application from”

Enabling two-factor authentication unlocks the Boogiedown Emote in Fortnite Battle Royale (Epic Games)

In an effort to improve security on its platfrom, Fortnite developer Epic Games introduced a prize for players who implement two-factor authentication.

By enabling the security feature, players are rewarded with a free BoogieDown emote, allowing them to celebrate or taunt opponents with a dance.

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