Cheaters never prosper.
Fortnite players looking for an easy way to get a leg-up may want to think twice about how they do it. Game streaming service Rainway detailed in a blog post today how “tens of thousands” of players downloaded an app that infected their machines with a virus.
The app in question promised to freely generate V-bucks (Fortnite’s in-game currency) while also delivering an aimbot that would give players an unfair advantage in firefights. Instead, it delivered a “man-in-the-middle” attack that altered webpage requests on users’ PCs by adding in tags for an ad service called Adtelligent.
Rainway filed an abuse report with the file host, and the file “was removed promptly” – but not before it was downloaded over 78,000 times, according to Rainway. The streaming service also contacted Adtelligent about the keys linked to the URLs but hasn’t heard back. Finally, it alerted all infected users and increased security to prevent future attacks of this nature.
The investigation began when Rainway “began receiving hundreds of thousands of error reports” on the morning of June 26. Since Rainway is an ad-free platform, the 381,000 attempts to call ad platforms, it knew there was an external actor causing a problem, and it soon discovered all the problems were tied to users who played Fortnite.
“While it should go without saying, I think you should not download random programs,” Rainway CEO Andrew Sampson wrote in the blog post. “An excellent personal security tip is that if something is too good to be true, you’re probably going to need to reformat your PC. It is hard to outright prevent people from being malicious, but that doesn’t mean its hard to prevent spread.”
Sampson went on to explain how he felt Epic Games can also contribute to preventing further cases similar to this one in the future.
“Epic could do a better job at educating their users on these malicious programs and helping them understand how airtight Fortnites systems are at preventing cheating. I’d also recommend they spend more time moderating YouTube to help take down these videos to avert a countless number of people from pwning themselves. Sometimes the allure of cheating is powerful, and a strong presence is needed to help push people in the right direction.”
Epic Games is preparing to launch Fortnite Season 5 on July 12. In the meantime, the rifts caused by a recent in-game event continue to grow, while discussion continues to linger about the lack of Fortnite crossplay on PS4.
Nick Santangelo is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. He loves video games and sports, but not sports video games. Follow him on Twitter.