Choose Bitdefender to Avoid Fortnite Ransomware Troubles
Online games don’t get much more popular than Fortnite, the any-age popular contest where 100 players start a battle on an island, snatching up armor, weapons, and equipment and doing battle. As time moves on, the playable area becomes smaller and smaller until only one player remains. It’s a bit like a virtual version of the Hunger Games, without all the brutal murders and starving communities. As of March 2019, Fortnite had more than 250 million users and as many as 2 million on at a time.
That sort of enormous crowd attracts the worst of society, in this case, hackers and cybercriminals who use the gaming networks to unleash ransomware onto the unsuspecting consoles of gamers.
How Ransomware Invades Fortnite
Hackers disguise their ransomware as a cheat code that claims to help Fortnite players develop better aim and be able to track other players better. As those are two of the most sought-after skills in the game, it is not surprising that many players leap at the download in an attempt to improve their standing. However, when they open the file, the malware, known as SydneyFortniteHacks.exe, encrypts the user’s files on the hard drive and USB of the computer it is installed on. Once it is active, it asks for the ransom in the form of cryptocurrency and threatens that it will delete a file every two hours until it is paid. The hackers set up the lure brilliantly by becoming established members on Fortnite message boards over time. Once they have an established track record, they start a new post advertising the “cheat code”. Because other posters have grown to trust them and their opinions, they believe the code to be real and immediately click on it and add it onto their computers.
The Biggest Problem with Ransomware
The biggest problem with ransomware is that you are dealing with criminals, meaning even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee of having your files restored. Some hackers, perhaps playing by their own moral code, ultimately restore access once the ransom is paid. Others take the money and move on to their next target. Ransomware can be so simple that the authors of it don’t even know that the ransomware is active on a specific person’s computer; the process is automated to lock the files, show the ransom demands, and delete the files automatically when the ransom is not paid.
Downloading cheat codes and add-ons is a big part of the experience for many gamers, and many of them turn off large parts of their computer’s functionality to devote more memory to a seamless in-game experience. Security systems take up a lot of processing power and are thus an easy choice to disable while one is online, which of course opens up the floodgates for trouble. Gamers would be wise to turn their protection back on, at least when they are downloading files. An anti-ransomware protection product like Bitdefender can operate in a light mode in the background of your computer and pounce on any ransomware or other malware that tries to enter your system, keeping your gaming environment safe and clean.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article.