Gamers are no strangers to scams, malware, and hacks. There are many cases where malicious actors will use people's love of video games to steal personal information and even money from unsuspecting victims. Even the biggest names in video games are not immune from these attacks.
In January of 2014, video game giant Blizzard Entertainment identified a fake website, which looked like its own Curse Client add-on manager, that installed Trojan malware onto gamers' computers with the intention of stealing account information and passwords. In April of this year, a type of malware called "PUBG RansomWare," which encrypted users' files until they played the popular game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds for at least one hour, was discovered.
The latest malware attacks that steal gamers' personal information comes disguised as offers for cheat items and freebies for the popular online battle royale video game, Fortnite, according to a blog post from Christopher Boyd, intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes Labs.
"Among all the gluttony of scams there hid a malicious file ready to steal data and enumerate Bitcoin wallets, for starters," he writes.
According to Boyd, this malware was discovered by watching YouTube videos that offered free season 6 passes and a free Android version of the game – even though players are not charged to download the game on any platform. These videos also reportedly offered free cheat items, wallhacks, aimbots, and offers for free "V Bucks," the currency used to buy season passes and in-game loot.
Apparently, the YouTube videos in question enticed gamers to click a link to receive a potential reward. For one, Boyd found that once gamers clicked on the link they were redirected to a survey page on Sub2Unlock. But instead of being prompted to complete a survey, gamers were asked to subscribe to the social portal of the person who initially redirected them to the page.
After clicking on the subscribe button, Boyd claims gamers were simply redirected to the YouTube channel's subscription page without validating they had actually subscribed to the channel. Instead, Boyd says that all that was left to do was to go back to the previous page and click the download button, which directed gamers to a legitimate-looking site from where the cheats could finally be downloaded.
But, with a few more clicks of the mouse, potential victims are taken to another download site that contains Trojan malware that collects "browser session information, cookies, Bitcoin wallets, and also Steam sessions."
Boyd urges gamers to be aware that the ReadMe file included in the download advertises being able to purchase "additional Fortnite cheats for $80 Bitcoin."
"Given how things up above panned out, we'd advise anyone tempted to cheat to steer well clear of this one," he writes. "Winning is great, but it's absolutely not worth risking a huge slice of personal information to get the job done."