Gamers have always wanted an edge in online games. Sometimes that edge is gained by getting better at the game, but other players try to force the advantage by cheating. This is usually done by downloading third-party tools that modify the client to make it easier for the gamer. Whether this is seeing players through walls or having the tools aim their gun for them, there’s always a way. Cheaters for the battle royale game Fortnite, however, are finding they’re getting more than they bargained for.
Cheating the Cheaters
With every popular trend comes a wave of malware tailored to target the trend’s audience. Given how recent malware focuses on data collection, spreading the net as far as possible is key for a bountiful catch. Malware developers ride on these waves of popularity to catch as many people as possible.
With Fortnite becoming one of the most popular current games, it’s only natural that malware developers are quick on its coattails to distribute their wares. One of the best ways they can do this is to offer cheat software that claims to give the players an advantage when they play Fortnite. Instead, when the user downloads the cheat, they get a malware payload installed on their computer.
Method of Attack
Of course, malware distribution is only as effective as the amount of people who click on the download link. That’s why the distributors have taken to one of the more popular sites for Fortnite content – YouTube.
The premise is simple. A video is uploaded detailing the hack, saying what it does and claiming that it’s undetectable by Fortnite’s anti-cheat systems. In the description is a link to the download, which intrigued people click. This leads to a survey to “unlock” the download, which is simply a means of harvesting data from the users.
Once the user finally gets through the survey, they’re led to a download site distributing Fortnite cheat software. They download the software thinking they’ve finally gotten what they came for but only find a trojan once the download has completed.
How to Dodge It
This one is very simple: don’t download shady cheat files off of the Internet! As tempting as it can be to cheat at a game, you have to keep things clean. Downloading a cheat file will get you banned from the game at best and a nasty info-stealing malware planted on your computer at worst.
In general, it’s a good idea to suspect any files linked in YouTube descriptions. As you can see above, YouTube is a good attack vector for getting a strain of malware onto the PCs of people around the world. If you see a video advertising a hack, free software, or a crack to make software free, be very suspicious about the files that are being linked.
Holding Down the Fort
With every new trend comes a wave of malware developers trying to exploit the masses to download their software. With the rise of Fortnite comes the spike of videos on YouTube discussing “undetectable hacks” that allow players to cheat. Gamers should stay vigilant, as these hacks are nothing but trouble!
Will this make you more suspicious of YouTube guides in the future? Let us know below!