Sunday, June 16, 2019

Criminals Using Popular Video Game – Fortnite to Launder Money

The world of organized crime just took a new dimension, as criminals are using popular video game, Fortnite to launder money through its in-game currency. The video game is massively popular among children and most teenagers because it is free and available at almost any gaming platform available.

A New form of Fraud

The new video-game Fortnite is an instant hit in the game market, due to its features. The game is an exciting one that keeps teenagers and kids at the edge of their seat during the gaming sessions.

But the money spent on buying weapons, outfits and other items have made the game vastly popular among cybercriminals who see it as a great avenue to launder money.

Criminals use stolen credit cards to purchase V-bucks, the official virtual currency used in buying items at the Fortnite Stores. Due to the discounted rate at which V-bucks is sold to players, the criminal will effectively be able to ’clean’ the money.

Research carried out by major news outlets revealed that discounted V-bucks are being sold in bulk through a dark web, a hidden section of the internet that can only be assessed using specialized software and also in smaller quantities on the open web by advertising them on different social media platforms like the popular Twitter and Instagram platforms.

Criminals Operating with Impunity

Intelligent Analyst Benjamin Preminger, a senior intelligence officer at Sixgill stated that:

“Criminals are executing carding fraud and getting money in and out of the fortnite system with relative impunity.  Threat actors [a malicious person or entity] 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.”

Though the exact amount made by the criminals through the platform cannot be ascertained, Sixgill found out that Fortnite items grossed more than $250,000 on e-bay in two months last year.

IT security firm, Zerofox also found 53,000 different instances of online scam relating to Fortnite between September and October 2018. Scam incidents were also shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Cyber intelligent experts are of the opinion that the firm is not doing enough to prevent fraud on the platform, stating that more needs to be done to rid or reduce the activities of criminals on the platform.

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