Recently, personal data belonging to players of the popular game Fortnite has appeared on the dark web.
Hackers reportedly obtained the information from the system’s database and posted the stolen data for sale on darknet platforms.
Children are the ones at risk of being victimized, considering the game’s demographic of younger users.
The stolen information, which includes logins and passwords, can be used to increase the gamers’ in-play charges—thus leading to unlawful extraction of cash from them.
These scammers have also gone to the extent of obtaining the gamers’ payment information to gain access to their bank accounts.
Top10VPN first uncovered the fraud operation that is selling player’s data on the dark web.
What makes this scam especially dangerous to children is the fact that this game has a very low age restriction limit at just twelve years of age. Thus, children can access it quite easily.
Phishing is the major way through which these scammers gain player information. It involves the use of well-disguised messages and websites to that trick the user into giving up personal information including logins and credit card details.
Recent reports also show that hackers have been able to lure Fortnite players into downloading fake apps to steal their logins.
Other methods include cyberattacks as well as searching through stolen credentials.
The latter is particularly dangerous because most people tend to use the same login information for different website accounts including Fortnite.
These factors show the danger that children playing Fortnite are exposed to should they fall victim to data theft.
Parents are also at risk since the credit information used by their kids is linked to their accounts as well—this is reason enough why most parents are taking this threat seriously.
Fortnite: The Game
Before delving any further into this matter, what is Fortnite? The combat-based game is arguably the most popular game around the globe right now.
It began as Fortnite Battle Royale, which has recorded 125 million registered players since its launch last fall.
The game’s popularity has brought about both criticism and praise in equal measure.
Fortnite Battle Royale features up to 100 players on a single island. These players then fight each other until only one player remains.
A storm that consumes the island initiates the fight. To survive, the players have to remain within the eye of the storm, and this leads to unavoidable conflict.
The island has an arsenal of weapons and other supplies which the players seek to give them an edge above the rest of the players when it comes to combat.
As much as this is debatable, Fortnite is considered to be primarily harmless and entertaining to children.
At least, compared to other combat-based games. It has been referred to as the Call of Duty for children.
However, just like all video games, it all comes down to the parents who decide whether the game is safe for their kids to play or not.
Opening an account in Fortnite is quite easy since all that is required is an email address. It, therefore, means that the kids can do this on their own.
Kids who only play the free version of the game are safe in terms of protecting against the loss that can incur as the result of security breaches.
The risk comes in in the in-game extras which require one to pay for the extensions, thus meaning that the kids would have to input their credit information into the game’s database, from where the hackers can potentially prey on them.
Other Security Risks
Identity theft is not the only risk the children face.
The game also has a chat feature which enables them to have online multiplayer sessions with their friends, and at times, strangers.
Some of these strangers could be black hat hackers.
They could easily foster false friendships with the players and end up acquiring personal information from them.
Players that use the mobile version of the game are safe from this form of scam since they cannot access the chat feature.
Since many relatively young children do not know how to protect their information on such sites, parents are tasked with the protection of their children’s accounts.
It has also been noted that a large number of Fortnite gamers are below the permitted minimum age for playing the game.
This only helps in exposing the kids to more even greater danger since the younger they are, the more susceptible to fraudsters they are.
To prevent such risks, parents can monitor their children’s activities on Fortnite and ensure that their logins and passwords are secure and regularly changed, so as not to have their personal information being sold on the dark web.
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