Fortnite, arguably the world’s most popular game, may be free-to-play, but it’s earning some people quite a lot of money.
While Epic Games has already had to deal with hackers selling other players’ accounts, per GameReactor, they have a new issue on their hands: money laundering. The Independent, following an investigation alongside cybersecurity firm Sixgill, released a new report detailing how criminals are using stolen credit card info to purchase V-bucks, the in-game currency Fortnite utilizes, before selling them off at discounted rates.
There are, reportedly, several operations in multiple languages, both on the dark web and on various social media outlets, that sell V-bucks in exchange for bitcoin or bitcoin cash. This only adds to the difficulty in tracking the illegal activity.
Epic Games needs to do more
Perhaps most troubling, according to Sixgill intelligence analyst Benjamin Preminger, is Epic’s lackadaisical response:
“Threat actors [person(s) who affect an organization’s security] are scoffing at Epic Games’ weak security measures, saying that the company doesn’t 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.”Benjamin Preminger, Sixgill Intelligence Analyst
Preminger allowed that it is extremely difficult to stop these practices completely, but noted that Epic Games does not seem to be taking any steps to mitigate the criminal activity. Along these lines, he suggested that they be more willing to sharing pertinent Fortnite data with the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Clearly, despite the massive popularity of Fortnite, there are still pressing issues for Epic Games to sort out. Besides these illegalities, the developer is still facing lawsuits over stolen dances, as well as criticism over poor response to player complaints. These don’t take away from the game’s massive worldwide popularity, but, in the future, Epic Games will be expected to start handling their various controversies with more aplomb.