- Thousands of Fortnite accounts are getting sold daily in a market for stolen video game accounts that generates $1 billion annually, according to security researchers.
- Hackers take advantage of tools that allow them to see if login credentials from past data breaches allow them access to Fortnite accounts.
- These accounts on average sell between $200 to $250 each – with some even selling for thousands, according to the researchers.
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The black market for stolen video game logins is a big business, and it’s come for Fortnite in a big way.
Thousands of Fortnite accounts are getting sold on a daily basis in a black market for stolen video game accounts that collectively brings in $1 billion on an annual basis, according to a report published by Night Lion Security titled “The Fortnite Underground Cybercrime Economy.”
Hackers take advantage of cracking tools that allows them to reach an average of nearly 500 accounts per second. The report said that the tools can see whether the accounts can be unlocked with credentials that show up from past data breaches that are unrelated to Fortnite.
Different Fortnite accounts have valuable skins that can alter a player’s avatar. These accounts on average sell between $200 to $250 each, Vinny Troia, Founder, Chief Security Research and Strategy at Night Lion Security, told Bloomberg News. Some can go for thousands.
"Epic Games takes a sophisticated layered approach to protect our players," a spokesperson told Business Insider on Friday. "We use technology like captcha, IP reputation, machine learning, and proprietary technology to detect threats in seconds, proactively block login attempts and automatically take action to secure any compromised accounts we identify."
The spokesperson also confirmed to Business Insider that buying and selling Fortnite accounts is against the game's Terms of Service, and the company seeks to return any recovered stolen accounts to the owner.
"The market for stolen account sales is much larger than just the gaming industry," the report said. "From our research, the black market for the buying and selling of stolen Fortnite accounts is among the most expansive, and also the most lucrative."
The popularity of Fortnite has grown exponentially since it debuted in 2017. In the game, 100 players fight against each other other on an ever-shrinking map to be the last player standing.
The game now has over 350 million registered players and is distributed as three different game modes on a variety of gaming platforms, such as PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
People whose Fortnite accounts might have been stolen should follow the instructions on Epic's website, the spokesperson said. They can also follow details online on how to best protect their accounts.