- "Fortnite: Battle Royale" isn't available for Android yet, but that hasn't stopped hackers and bad actors from tricking eager players into downloading malware disguised as the game.
- The real game is actually slated to release this summer.
"Fortnite: Battle Royale" is the most popular video game in the world right now, and understandably so. The online game is available for free on nearly every gaming console and platform, yet has still earned $100 million in revenue in its first 90 days on Apple iOS devices alone.
Hackers and malware authors have started to take advantage of Fortnite fever by tricking people into downloading fake versions of the game for Android — one of the few platforms that does not yet support the game.
An analysis from Nathan Collier, a senior intelligence analyst with internet security company Malwarebytes, shows that these bad actors are advertising "leaked" versions of "Fortnite" — they can be found on YouTube, and often turn up with a simple internet search for "How to install Fortnite on Android” or “Fortnite for Android."
In a blog post Wednesday, Collier explains that these fake apps use many of the same images and loading screens found in the iOS app, making them look very realistic when you first open them.
But then, many of the malware apps will redirect users to a browser, with a similarly realistic-looking landing page telling would-be players that they have to download a certain number of other apps and games before they can play "Fortnite." In reality, he says, no matter how many other apps are downloaded, the game will never be unlocked.
"The malware developer is paid for every redirect that results in a download. Unfortunately, the promise of unlocking Fortnite is never kept. Thus, the user is left empty handed," said Collier in a comment provided to Business Insider.
Epic Games was not immediately available for comment.
Those who have fallen for a fake app will be happy to hear that the actual game will be coming to Android devices this summer, according to Epic. To protect your phone from malware, you're better off waiting for the actual release.
In general, it is always a good idea to avoid downloading an app that isn't hosted in the Google Play Store, and to be on the lookout for apps that require you to download any additional apps to unlock features.
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