Fortnite ‘Fuelling’ Organised Crime

Fortnite’s ingame currency “V-Bucks” is being exploited by Cyber Criminals to launder money through the online game to make a profit.

‘Fortnite’ is a popular, free online shooter with around  200 million players worldwide, however due to the low barrier to entry, it has become an easy target for Cyber Criminals. 

Fortnite’s in-game currency ‘V-Bucks’ is being utilised by Cyber Criminals to launder money through the gaming channel. The way in which this works is as followed:

  1. Credit Cards details are stolen/brought from the DarkWeb. This can be from sites such as Jokerstash or other credit card dumps.
  2. Cyber Criminals are then buying the in-game currency through the official ‘Fortnite’ store with the stolen credit card details.
  3. The in-game currency is then sold onto other users at a discounted rate.  Which nets a profit for the Cyber Criminal.

Payments to buy the discounted in-game currency are accepted in the form of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash – making it harder for law enforcement to track them down. “Fortnite” developer Epic Games  lax approach to security measures has made it easier for Cyber Criminals to conduct fraudulent activities.

In addition to the DarkWeb being a marketplace for the sale of discounted ‘V-Bucks’, social media accounts on platforms such as, Instagram and Twitter are selling the in-game currency to users.

Operations in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and English have been discovered.

Although Epic Games does encourage users to implement 2 Factor Authentication onto their accounts; this does not solve the problem.

The company does not prohibit the purchase of their in-game currency at a discounted rate. While this form of criminal activity is difficult to completely prevent – mitigating controls should be put into place to reduce the effect of criminal activity.

An example of this may be, that individuals that have large stockpiles of “V-Bucks” are being identified and details are being shared with law enforcement to investigate.

IT security firm Zerofox conducted an investigation and found over 50,000 different instances of online scams relating to Fortnite between early September and early October 2018. 

Fornite generated £2.3 billion in profit for Epic Games last year.

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