Preference Choice Publication

Epidemic of fake Fortnite apps hits internet

Tim Maytom

Fake Android versions of the best-selling game Fortnite have been spreading online, despite the fact that the game is not currently available on Google's mobile operating system.

While no fake apps have yet made it on to the official Google Play Store, they are being promoted with videos on YouTube linking to third-party app stores which have been viewed millions of times, according to security experts at Malwarebytes.

"Every time there is a craze around a new video game release, consequently we see malware authors jumping into the game," said Nathan Collier, an analyst at Malwarebytes. "Often, it's an attack against our good senses. They capitalise on that little itch that screams 'I want it now!'. We suggest listening to that other inner voice that warns, 'This seems too good to be true.' Our advice: be patient."

The fake apps being shared online look legitimate, with realistic-looking icons taken from the iOS version, loading screens and even music taken from Fortnite. However, after being installed, the fake games ask you to download another app to "verify" you are not a bot.

While the second app appears to be a legitimate one hosted within the Google Play Store, the analysis by Malwarebytes suggests that the malware developers are making money by driving people to make downloads from the third-party app store.

Given that the official iOS version of Fortnite has made over $100m during its first 90 days of availability, its no surprise that malicious developers are looking to capitalise on its success. An official Android version of the game is expected to launch later this summer.