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Beware of fake malicious Fortnite Android apps making the rounds

Beware of fake malicious Fortnite Android apps making the rounds

Epic Games' wildly popular multiplayer sandbox survival shooter Fortnite has ballooned in popularity in less than a year with 125 million registered players as of June. Since it is free and accessible on nearly every major platform, including Nintendo Switch as of this month, this notable feat is expected.

However, cybercriminals are already tapping into gamers' eagerness for the game's availability on untapped, but massive player base - Android.

Hackers have been found uploading fake, malicious Android versions of the game. ESET's malware researcher Lukas Stefanko reported there are multiple YouTube tutorials purportedly explaining how to download and install Fortnite on their Android devices - an app that doesn't exist.

However, the game is currently only available for PlayStation, Xbox One, macOS and Microsoft. Last month, Epic Games announced that Fortnite will launch this summer, but hasn't disclosed a specific release date yet. The game is not available on iOS either.

Still, the YouTube tutorials in question have garnered hundreds of thousands of views. They also promote APK files that, if downloaded, could be malicious.

“Millions of views on YouTube for fake 'How to install Fortnite on Android' videos including links to actual APK files," Stefanko tweeted. "Don’t install #Fortnite for Android, it’s all fake or malicious! The official app is not released yet. They mostly generate revenue for developers."

"People are willing to do and believe anything to play #Fortnite on Android," he added. "40 lines of code in 1 class that only display Fortnite video. No game play whatsoever."

This isn't the first time hackers have been targeting gamers and the hype surrounding new and popular games.

Shortly before and after the release of Super Mario Run for iOS in 2016, hackers uploaded loads of malware-laced versions of the game on the official Play Store and third-party sites. A fake Pokémon Go app for Android was also spotted making the rounds just days before it was officially released on the Google Play Store.

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