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A closer look at the malware that masquerades as Fortnite cheats

The company behind the anti-malware software Malwarebytes has tracked down one particular scam that's been making the rounds while disguised as a Fortnite cheat and dug into what makes it tick.

Malware that lures unsuspecting people into giving away personal information by promising cheats or free currency for big online games is not a brand new concept, and the age-old scams are currently running amok with Epic’s free-to-play battle royale game Fortnite.

The company behind the anti-malware software Malwarebytes, for example, has tracked down one particular scam that’s been making the rounds while disguised as a Fortnite cheat. The scam itself is similar to one unearthed earlier this year by the streaming platform Rainway, as well as several others that can be found online at any given moment.

But what makes Malwarebytes' report particularly interesting is its dive into how the malware itself actually operates. The specific malicious program the company tracks has grabbed a little over 1,200 downloads to date and attempts to steal information from infected systems about everything from cookies and Steam sessions to Bitcoin wallet info.

This particular “cheat” originates from a YouTube video that grabbed over 2,000 views in its first day live and promises an undetectable Fortnite aimbot, Fortnite hacks, loot detecting tools, along with other cheats. A link in the description sends would-be cheaters to a page that promises to deliver a link to the cheat download in exchange for a YouTube channel subscribe, something that Malwarebytes notes is slightly different from the more survey-focused route most malicious programs take. From there, the site directs people to a second site that offers Fortnite cheats, and then a file hosting site to download  the “cheat” itself, which Malwarebytes’ software IDs as a ‘trojen.malpack’ that aims to take info on browser sessions, cookies, Bitcoin wallets, and Steam sessions to an IP based out of the Russian Federation.

The site’s blog post has a full breakdown that's worth checking out about how this specific bit of malware targets the systems and personal information of Fortnite players looking for an illegitimate leg up on their competition.

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