Fortnite security flaw exposed millions of users to being hacked

By Jason Silverstein

/ CBS News

Cybersecurity risks during shutdown

A security vulnerability in Fortnite, the online game with more than 200 million users, exposed players to being hacked and even secretly recorded during play, a security research firm said.

The firm Check Point revealed Wednesday that it found flaws in the game over the past few weeks. According to the report, hackers took advantage of an unsecured webpage from 2004 created by Fortnite's developer, Epic Games. They used the old webpage to send phishing links to Fortnite users that appeared to be coming from Epic. If users clicked the link, hackers could gain full access to their accounts even without login information.

This vulnerability allowed cyber criminals to take over Fortnite accounts, make purchases with the game's virtual currency and also eavesdrop on and record chatter among players.

Check Point said it alerted Epic Games to the security slip, and the company fixed them. The 2004 webpage used for the hack has been taken down.

"We were made aware of the vulnerabilities and they were soon addressed. We thank Check Point for bringing this to our attention," Epic Games said in a statement. "As always, we encourage players to protect their accounts by not reusing passwords and using strong passwords, and not sharing account information with others."

This is at least the second major security breach found in Fortnite in the past year. In August, Google researchers discovered that Android users could be tricked into installing a fake version of Fortnite. Epic fixed the flaw.

Security researchers have warned that Fortnite is a big target for attacks, since its explosive popularity makes it a social network in its own right. The game was set to make $3 billion in profit by the end of 2018.

First published on January 16, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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