The sale of hacked Fortnite login can earn a lot of money.
According to a new research report, selling stolen entry details for the popular battle royale game Fortnite, hackers netted more than $ 1 million a year.
The report, published by Night Lion Security, enters a highly lucrative black market for stolen video game accounts, which has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry.
Fortnite is at the leading position of this underground economy, home to hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal sales.
The demand for stolen Fortnite accounts is primarily driven by character skins’ popularity, which alters the player’s appearance within the game, but does not affect gameplay. As the number of rare skins kept on account grows, it will be sold more on the undercover black market.
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On average, Fortnite account vendors are said to earn $ 40,000 a month (or $ 480,000 a year). While the highest earners make $ 1.2 million a year – more than most doctors, lawyers, banks, and CEOs.
In one recorded incident, a collection of accounts with unusual skins attached sold for $ 38,000 at a private auction held on the Telegram messaging platform. Accounts Exploited “Recon Expert,” meanwhile, are said to be fetching about $ 2,500 each.
To make access to Fortnite accounts, hackers use login credentials obtained from previous data breaches. They are tested and checked for Fortnite player databases.
This sort of attack is referred to as “verified login” and is based on the fact that most people reuse passwords on multiple online accounts. For example, with a single combination of email and password. A hacker can access the personal accounts of Facebook, Gmail, Netflix, and Amazon – and possibly their Fortnite account.
“Hacking groups such as Gnostic Players and Shiny Hunters commit several violations involving stolen user information. And they are indirectly responsible for promoting the entire criminal economy of stolen accounts”. Explains Vinny Troia, founder of Night Lion Security.
“These accounts have been stolen and reassembled and resold in many ecosystems. The biggest profit being the market for hacked game accounts.”
Special tools are also used to determine if stolen credentials can be used to access active Fortnite accounts. According to DonJuju, described as a “respected hacker in underground hacking circles,” high-level hacking tools can make checks between 15,000 – 20,000 per minute (or 500 per second).
While the Fortnite Epic Games developer has measures in place to protect users from making too many short-term login attempts. Hackers pass this filter using proxy rotation services that provide each request to enter a new IP address. Thus concealing suspicious activity.
Successfully compromised accounts are drawn into software designed to test which skins are present in the account. Once their value has been assessed, the accounts are then grouped together to be sold as a single group to the merchant. Acting as an individual consumer store.
The Fortnite account marketing market, including individual and individual purchases, costs $ 142 million a year – and probably more. The whole market – including illegal sales linked to popular games. Such as Minecraft and Runescape – is said to cost more than $ 1 billion.
To protect account reduction, users are advised to use different passwords for all online accounts. And to protect each one with multiple authentications where possible.
Epic Games will still respond to our request for comment on existing measures to protect players from account theft.