In Brief

Fortnite: how teenage hackers are making thousands

One boy earned £1,500 in a matter of weeks by selling stolen online accounts

Teenagers are making thousands of pounds every week by hacking the popular online video game Fortnite: Battle Royale, it has been revealed.

A group of about 20 hackers told the BBC that they steal private accounts from gamers using “off-the-shelf” hacking tools and sell them through social media. 

One of the youngsters, a 14-year-old British boy, said that a hacking group approached him after he purchased a stolen account for 25p, the broadcaster reports. He claims he has carried out only one hacking session, which netted him over 1,000 accounts in one day. 

He was able to sell the online profiles, which can go for anything from a few pence to hundreds of pounds, for £1,500 in a matter of weeks. 

Fortnite is one of the biggest computer games in the world, with developer Epic Games claiming that 78.3 million players log into the game on a monthly basis, Polygon reports. 

One of the chief reasons for the game’s popularity is that it’s free to play. However, players can pay using real-world money to unlock new outfits and dance moves. Some pay amounts into the hundreds for these items, making their accounts valuable to the right buyer.

Hackers gain access to an account by using tools to locate a gamer’s user name and password, says Metro. Once these have been obtained, the hackers simply activate the account’s two-factor authentication, a security measure where users must enter a code as well as a password to enter their account. 

Activating two-factor authentication, which can be done through the security settings in the game, makes an account significantly more difficult to hack, the newspaper adds. 

Epic Games has yet to comment on the hacking claims but said that it was working to improve account security.

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