Pressure grows on Epic to address Fortnite account hacking

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A spate of coverage has shone the spotlight on widespread account-hacking in Fortnite.

An investigation by the BBC reveals how young Fortnite players are being taught how to hack other players’ private Fortnite accounts, often after finding they have been hacked and locked out of their accounts. The practice, which allows hackers to acquire rare and valuable skins painstakingly collected by others, can be very lucrative.

THE BBC article highlights the case of an unnamed British 14-year-old, who found himself locked out of his Fortnite account: “Like many victims, he turned to Twitter to vent his frustration.

That was where he saw new accounts containing even better items on sale. “I was approached by someone who said I could buy an account for 25p and I could clearly see the account was worth a lot more,” he recalled. “I bought it.”

“He was soon drawn into the world of “Fortnite cracking”. “I was approached by a cracking team and they told me what it was and all about ‘combos’, ‘proxies’ and I guess they showed me how to crack,” he said. He said they showed him where to find the vast lists of usernames and passwords published online from other data breaches over the years. They showed him where to buy “off-the-shelf” hacker tools needed to input those credentials into the login page of Fortnite. Once inside an account, they showed him how to take it over and then sell it to the hungry online community.”

The report also recounts how hackers are making a living from Fortnite-cracking: “One of the most prolific is a 17-year-old from Slovenia, who sells through his own website. “You can’t get caught, nobody checks it,” he told the BBC from within the game. Amidst the gunfire and wall-building, he said he had made £16,000 in the seven months that he had been cracking.”

The BBC quoted the National Crime Agency’s gaming lead, Ethan Thomas: “What we want to see these companies do is not look at this from a purely technical standpoint. What we’d like is the gaming industry engaging more with law enforcement and looking at early intervention messaging on their platforms to divert [youngsters] on to a more ethical and legal path.”

So far, Epic Games has failed to acknowledge the problem, although there is plenty of discussion on its own forums regarding gameplay hacks such as aimbots. Keep an eye on the battle royale game’s website to see if Epic Games addresses the concerns.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.