back to article Smash-hit game Fortnite is dangerous... for cheaters: Tools found laced with malware

Free third-person slaughter-fest Fortnite has attracted more than 100 million players – but many of them are falling foul to malware infections as they try to beat other players. Since last week, game streaming shop Rainway noticed an increasing number of alarms popping up on its security logs, and was at first rather puzzled …

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Let me be the first to say...

<voice="Nelson Muntz">Ha ha. </voice>

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Anonymous Coward

Moral Panic

Yep, I'm seriously concerned about kids looking for weapons in empty buildings, hiding and shitting themselves next time there is a storm.

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Re: Moral Panic

LOL, @AC!

The violence in "Fortnite" is about on-par with Looney Tunes cartoons from the '50s. If you're inclined to clutch the pearls over that level of violence, the real world may simply be too much for you.

I find it interesting that the "moral panic" is with the game's "violence" rather than the cheating. The violence is imaginary. Exercising the will to do what is against the rules, for the sake of depriving others of what is rightfully theirs, is real.

It's like decrying the violence in a Stephen King novel, and then shrugging over the actions of the person that plagiarizes him.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Moral Panic

Yep, I'm seriously concerned about kids looking for weapons in empty buildings, hiding and shitting themselves next time there is a storm.

I am more concern of them chopping down every damn tree in the backyard and try to build infinitely wooden ramp like physic doesn't apply.

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Anonymous Coward

DNKROZ

Your face

Your ass

What's the difference?

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WTF?

Can't feel too upset about this

Yes, I'm sorry that people are downloading malware, but not that sorry.

What is the point, really, of downloading a cheat code to improve your chances of winning, when the only thing you get from winning is satisfaction and kudos?

This is a serious question. It seems to be rife in gaming, as far as I can tell - people play for a while and as soon as they get stuck, they search the internet for the clues and cheat codes. Call me old-fashioned, but it seems to take the point away from the whole thing.

Anyone got any insight into this?

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Re: Can't feel too upset about this

"...Yes, I'm sorry that people are downloading malware, but not that sorry.

What is the point, really, of downloading a cheat code to improve your chances of winning, when the only thing you get from winning is satisfaction and kudos?

This is a serious question. It seems to be rife in gaming, as far as I can tell - people play for a while and as soon as they get stuck, they search the internet for the clues and cheat codes. Call me old-fashioned, but it seems to take the point away from the whole thing.

Anyone got any insight into this?.."

I think it's just another symptom of a world where no one wants to work for reward but expects instant gratification no matter how it's achieved.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't feel too upset about this

@Martin

I don't think it's rife in gaming, I think there are certain people that choose to cheat for whatever reason, maybe they just want to get one up on their friends or random internet people. Personally I've not really seen the need bar a few exceptions. Early Nintendo pre-internet was brilliant, sure it was difficult and I could have bought a walk through guide but I never needed to because the game mechanics were such that I knew if I just kept at it I would do it, same for new Nintendo games I refuse to use the internet because I know I'll do it in the end. Then came Quake 3, sure there were cheats but again what's the point? get the rail gun, find a nice spot and frag the living death out of every one, I was called names that would make your mother blush for that. Tried fortnite for a bit but to be honest it's a bit boring, get stuff, hide, fight for say 5-10 minutes at the end, no point cheating. The only game where I did sometimes use the internet was world of warcraft because those b*stards had a habit of hiding stuff in plain site which was extremely frustrating.

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Re: Can't feel too upset about this

"I think it's just another symptom of a world where no one wants to work for reward but expects instant gratification no matter how it's achieved."

Hmm, a phrase that hasn't changed much for thousands of years is unlikely to be another 'symptom' of modern living, is it?

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Re: Can't feel too upset about this

Anyone got any insight into this?

Nope.

*returns to crossword puzzle*

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Re: Can't feel too upset about this

Cheats cheat in games because they need to feel and be seen as superior to the "losers".

Fair play, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't feel too upset about this

"It seems to be rife in gaming"

78,000 out of 100,000,000 isn't "rife".

That said, yes there are games that attract cheats, and a winner-takes-all PvP battle royale aimed at teens is going to be one of them.

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Coat

Re: Can't feel too upset about this

>*returns to crossword puzzle*

Hey stop using that Crossword Solver app to cheat!

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Re: Can't feel too upset about this

Low self esteem.

They are looking for anything that can make them feel better about themselves, even if it's a lie

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Childcatcher

Re: Can't feel too upset about this

What is the point, really, of reading a book to improve your chances of winning, when the only thing you get from winning is satisfaction and kudos and money?

This is a serious question. It seems to be rife in gaming, as far as I can tell - people play for a while and as soon as they get stuck, they buy a book or pay for lessons. Call me old-fashioned, but it seems to take the point away from the whole thing.

The oldest books on Chess predate the modern form by several hundred years. Some of the oldest surviving examples of dice are weighted. People have always sought to have a competitive advantage over others. What is perceived as fair depends to a large degree on culture, it would seem, but that it will happen is a given, the motivations are many and how it should be handled is a question as old as human nature.

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WTF?

Re: Can't feel too upset about this

@Robert Helpmann:-

There is a world of difference between getting a competitive advantage by reading books and taking lessons, versus actually breaking the rules of the game. Does that really have to be spelt out?

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Happens all the time

People who google for cheats or free loot will likely see sites that:

a) Insist you complete a bunch of scammy links (often requiring credit card authorisation), to receive a code that doesn't work.

b) Malware

c) Both

Anything that requires you run special software, or fill in stuff is malicious. Sadly with a game like Fortnite, many of the players will be kids who are less likely to be security conscious that adults. Not that some adults are security conscious either.

Search engines and sites like YouTube could do a lot more to stop these kinds of sites. Even if they popup a prominent message about game scams and how to avoid them.

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Re: Happens all the time

The same goes for other games. Minecraft online pseudo-tutorials and non-official add-ons (or whatever they're called in the game) are also riddled with those

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Re: Happens all the time

Minecraft is a bit different, mods is the term for non-official add-ons, and they are usually ok.. Although I hate the new windows 10 way of charging for mods that you could get for free in the java edition...

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Windows

Re: Happens all the time

@DrXym:

Anything that requires you run special software,

Ahhhh, Doc, there are a bunch of folks over at Curse Forge would like to have a chat with you.....

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Re: Happens all the time

Minecraft, and for that matter most Bethesda game, are different; the "unofficial addons" are called mods and both games have sites dedicated to posting and downloading those mods that are moderated with the files virus scanned by the hosting company.

The files themselves are not executable, in the main, and can only be "opened" within the games themselves.

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This makes me feel old.

Like when my 6 yr old daughter pointed out to me that someone in Habbo Hotel was asking her to 'download a cool game'.

My two girls were well taught how to spot 'freebies' and 'kewl cheatz' before they were 10.

and it sure ain't just a few 'kids' going for the 'cheats' . . .

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FAIL

The problem is amplified by the game devs making it too easy to cheat

Previously all the skiddies seem to like CS:GO, cos CS:GO pays attention to the mouse cursor, so no-recoil cheats are trivial to write (A simple AHK MouseMove command will do it, no need for WinAPI calls to fake RawInput)

Now the flavor of the month seems to be Fortnite. Initially, this too was trivial to cheat in. It supports mouse and console controller, but when you fired with a controller, you got an aim assist.

So of course what they did was rig it up so that when they pressed fire on the mouse, it pressed a console controller trigger instead, so you got mouse aiming plus aim assist.

We have real problems on the AutoHotkey forum with douchebags consistently rocking up, no interest in learning to code, they just want hax handed to them on a plate, and they will download and run ANYTHING that they find that purports to be a cheat.

Then game devs get lazy, and make it so their game won't run if AHK is installed, screwing over legitimate users.

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It really should surprise noone that cheats, unauthorised mods (or even, occassionally authorised mods), and cracked software are a common attack vector for malware. In no way is this limited to Fortnite. Any parent of a 14 year old can tell you this - laptops read regular disinfection when used by teenage gamers.

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Parents of today's 14 year-olds will remember their own childhood as well, because malware coming with cheats is as old as gaming forums.

That said, please excuse if I couldn't care less that cheaters are getting themselves infected with malware. Serves them right.

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n00bs

Dont they know you can just type iddqd and idkfa then you are a god?

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Obligatory world cup reference

Apparently Fortnite is popular with quite a lot of the England world cup team....

If any of them have installed malware that grabs bank details that could net someone a lot of cash given their huge wages.

Wonder if the players will have some extra free time to play Fortnite after today? *

*Written on day of Eng v Col sudden death stage game.

Not that Eng going out / progressing further will stop sport takeover of terrestrial TV with ******* Wimbledon kicking into action today

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Re: Obligatory world cup reference

Grrr, how I hate Wimbledon; people that, throughout the year don't watch or play tennis, all of a sudden become avid fans. How, why? It's the same damned game that they have ignored all bloody year!

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Amiga

I can't remember the game, it was an R-Type clone of some description, but the cheat code was to type in the "couple of keystrokes" of "xr3iturbonutterbastard" after you had typed that in, you had infinite lives and I think all power-ups.

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Re: Amiga

I'm remembering (Ok, I lie, I still play it) a game where the useful cheats were:

XAYBAX

BAYXAB

ABXYBA

- all with left trigger held in on the start menu.

Congrats to anyone who can tell me what game that is.

I never actually used the cheats myself though... I was good enough (and knew where all the in game upgrades were) that I put them in for all the people I was playing against so they had the advantage against me.

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Re: Amiga

The cheat codes for Alien Breed on the Amiga were amazing. Both the original and the special edition 92 version.

"KATRINA HAS FARTED AND ITS A BEAUTY" to make all the aliens vanish, for instance.

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Showing my age

6031769

(Bah, this post must contain letters, apparently!)

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Silver badge

Ahhh, the youth of today...

Back in my day, a POKE was something that bestowed infinite lives, time, or energy shields. Or perhaps the ultimate output of the from the works Christmas party with the cute secretary from legal.

According to my kids, a poke these days is something that happens on Instaface or Snapbook to garner attention.

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Happy

Re: Ahhh, the youth of today...

In my day, a poke was something else entirely...

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Anonymous Coward

Ahem....

Git gud scrubs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ahem....

Got haxx0red? Cry more, n00b.

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Bronze badge

C'mon

Malware disguised as something else is hardly a new concept.

Cheating... has been going on before man lived in caves.

During testing, testers are often provided means of adding this/that... doing this/that, jumping here/there, etc. and this information on how this is done gets leaked.

With today's processors and memory availability, it isn't hard to add in code to sanitize input, mask values, and other techniques to prevent cheating. However, there is no real incentive to stop this until it gets out of hand. People being able to cheat, to some extent, brings people to their game and therefore increases revenue.

..and since stupid cannot be fixed; there will always be the gullible cheaters who fall prey to malware disguised as the latest cheat. But let's face it, if you're so pathetic you need to cheat on an online game, what do you really have to lose by a MiTM attack.. other than their mom's credit card number.

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FAIL

How 'bout THIS:

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Living/mom-warns-fortnite-fraud-teen-sons-account/story?id=56707130

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