This is why the age old adage “cheaters never prosper” is true: thousands of Fortnite players downloaded an app that supposedly generates V-bucks and provides an auto-aiming hack, only to infect their machines with a virus. Rainway, a company that provides software that enables users to stream their games onto any device, discovered this when they began receiving hundreds of thousands of errors on their tracker last week. In a detailed blog post, Andrew Sampson, the Rainway CEO, describes how his team realized what was going on and what they did to combat it.
After a series of small tests, Rainway was able to deduce that the errors were not a result of their own systems being compromised. They then discovered that all of the users behind these error reports all shared one thing in common – Fortnite. The Rainway team set about scouring the internet trying to replicate the error on a virtual machine by downloading mass numbers of Fortnite scam apps. They went straight away to YouTube to take a look at some of the most popular videos teaching users how to download these apps. The list was pretty extensive.
After several hours, they managed to find the exact same malware app that their users had downloaded. They reported their findings to the file hosting service that the scammers had used to upload their app to and it was quickly taken down. Rainway then did a major overhaul of their own security systems to help inform their users when they detect any signs of a possible infection.
Sampson ended his post noting that Epic Games should be doing more to educate their players against the risks of downloading 3rd party software. He also suggested for YouTube to increase their efforts to moderate malicious content.
In the end, companies can only do so much though. If you want to avoid getting infected, the solution is simple: don’t download apps from untrustworthy sources.