Some Fortnite players are reportedly earning thousands of pounds a week by stealing accounts and then selling them on. According to the BBC, the accounts, once stolen, can be sold for anything between 25p (about 30 cents) and hundreds of pounds.
One of the hackers, speaking to the BBC, said he had become involved in the scene after his own account was stolen. After complaining on Twitter, he was approached by a group who taught him how to find usernames and passwords published online, told him where to buy hacking tools, and then how to sell stolen accounts to the game’s 200 million-strong community.
In just one day of work, the hacker says that he managed to illegally access more than 1,000 accounts, and now acts as a ‘middleman’, selling accounts on behalf of the hackers who stole them. In just a few weeks, he says he’s earned £1,500 ($1,900). In the UK, actions like this fall under the Computer Misuse Act, carrying a possible prison sentence of two years.
The relative worth of the accounts stems from the cosmetics attached to it. While they don’t offer any competitive advantage, Fortnite skins can be extremely rare, and cosmetics like Skull Trooper have only turned up once or twice in the history of the game. An account with plenty of rare and expensive skins will obviously sell for a lot more than one with a collection of common cosmetics.
This is perhaps as good a time as any to remind you that it’s a good idea to turn two factor authentication on for all of your online accounts. Doing so makes it very difficult for hackers to access you account, and I know that it’s protected my own account on many occasions.
The Fortnite community is gearing up for its Christmas celebrations. The 14 Days of Fortnite have just kicked off, offering daily challenges and cosmetic rewards throughout the holiday period.