Fortnite for Android: Fake versions of game spread across internet ahead of release date | Tech News
Malicious, fake versions of Fortnite for Android are spreading through the internet, despite the game not actually being released.
The game has now been launched on just about every platform, having come to the Switch this month. But Android phones are still lacking – they won’t be getting the game until later this year.
That has meant that a rush of apps have been put onto the internet to try and make the most of that demand. Many of them are being advertised on YouTube, to try and trick people who are searching to find out how they can get hold of the game.
The fake apps are not possible to get hold of through the Google Play Store, which bans fake apps. Instead, they are found by searching YouTube or Google for the links – that will provide an APK that can be installed on the phone.
But the bad news for any players looking to get hold of the game is that they are entirely fake. Anyone downloading them won’t get to play Fortnite – and might instead just get a nasty surprise.
The apps initially look normal to users, according to Nathan Collier from Malwarebytes. They include an icon stolen from iOS, the normal logo of developers Epic, and even take the loading screen from the iOS version.
But once all of that is over, suspect screens begin to show up. A strange page includes a message about “new updates”, but pressing on that takes users through to another loading and log in screen that is stolen from the legitimate version of the app.
After that is finished, the scam begins. The Fortnite app claims to need “mobile verification”, and then takes users into a browser page that claims it is checking the user is not a bot.
In fact, however, the page only makes people download yet another app, which claims to be a form of verification. It is just another app that pays people when they recruit new users, thus completing the scam and then rewarding those behind it.
The app itself does appear to be legitimate and non-malicious, according to Malwarebytes. But it means that people will never be able to play the game, no matter how many times they download the software, and will only be left with a new app that they never asked for.
Many of the players downloading the app are likely to be children, and may be doing so on phones that do not belong to them. While there might be any initial monetary danger from the Fortnite apps, it is nonetheless important to spot them and remove the apps and any related software.
Such tricks are common when there is plenty of buzz around a new game, according to Mr Collier.
“Every time there is craze around a new video game release, consequently we see malware authors jumping into the game,” he wrote in a blog post. “Often, it’s an attack against our good senses— they capitalize on that little itch that screams ‘I want it now!’
“We suggest listening to that other inner voice that warns, ‘This seems too good to be true,’ in order to avoid getting malware. Our advice: be patient. If you wait for the official release by Epic Games in the Google Play Store this summer, you won’t have the spend the ensuing months cleaning malware off your Android.”
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