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Fortnite fortune: Hackers earn over Rs 8 crore by selling stolen gaming accounts

The popular online game Fortnite has become a gold mine for hackers as cybercriminals are exploiting it for minting money. According to a report published by a cybersecurity consulting and investigation firm Night Lion, hackers are selling stolen accounts and in-game skins for roughly $1.2 million (about Rs 8.7 crore) per year.
Like PUBG, Fortnite is a battle royale format where 100 players compete to survive as the last player standing on a remote island. The game was launched in 2017. The popular game has amassed a huge following of over 350 million players and is available on multiple platforms.
According to the report, hackers take advantage of tools that allow them to see if login credentials from past data breaches allow them access Fortnight account. Through online took, hackers first collect a few thousand stolen Fortnite accounts and then auction it in private Telegram channels selling from anywhere between $10,000 and $40,000 per log.
The lower-end sellers of hacked Fortnite accounts earn an average of $5,000 per month, or $60,000 per year, yielding an overall average of $40,000 per month, or $480,000 per seller/per year in stolen account sales.
Checking for valid Fortnite accounts can be as easy as loading a list of email/password combinations into the right software.
The value of a hacked Fortnite account comes from the character`s in-game `skin`. “This single digital costume is what makes these accounts so valuable, and is at the core of the entire underground Fortnite market”.
According to several successful crackers, checking for `skins` on Epic Games logins will yield an average success rate of 10-15%.
Assuming a batch of 20,000 checked accounts, a seller will end up with approximately 2,000 `skins`. These `skins` are then packaged and sold as a single “Log”.
According to the report that also involved help from threat intelligence platform Data Viper, hacking groups like Gnostic Players and Shiny Hunters account for a vast majority of breaches involving stolen user data and are indirectly responsible for fueling an entire criminal economy of stolen accounts.
Roblox, Runescape, and Minecraft are three games that appear even more profitable.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic appears to be accelerating the demand for gaming accounts as people continue to be out of work, giving them plenty of time to play video games. India has also seen a huge spike in online gaming and frauds related to it.

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