Investigation Reveals Criminals Exploit Fortnite V-Bucks To Launder Money Without Players Knowledge
Fortnite has become a major success since its original launch, but cybercriminals have found a way to exploit it for their own gain with underhanded actions.
In a report from The Block, it appears that these cybercriminals infiltrated the fairly weak security system allowed them to sell V-Bucks, the in-game currency of Fortnite, which were purchased illegally. However, they are appealing to the users with a discounted price on the currency, based on the investigation conducted by The Independent and the Sixgill cybersecurity firm.
The in-game currency is originally purchased with stolen credit cards, which means that gamers’ purchases essentially help with the laundering of money through the game. Since Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash provide a certain level of anonymity, the vendors willingly accept them as payment. The only way to purchase the bulk V-bucks is through the Dark Web.
The smaller amounts are publicly advertised on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
With 200 million players, Fortnite is primarily free to play. However, there are opportunities to make purchases within the game, which is a common practice for online gaming opportunities. Considering the constant activity levels and the popularity, it was only a matter of time before cybercriminals found a way to exploit it.
The Sixgill agents posed as potential customers to reveal the activity happening in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, and English. A senior intelligence analyst, Benjamin Preminger, said:
“Criminals are executing carding fraud and getting money in and out of the Fortnite system with relative impunity. Threat actors are scoffing at Epic Games’ weak security measures, saying that the company does not seem to care about players defrauding the system and purchasing discounted V-bucks… This directly touches on the ability of threat actors to launder money through the game.”
Right now, it seems too soon to tell how successful the cybercriminals were.
However, the eBay sales alone brought in a quarter of a million dollars over the course of two months.