Criminals are getting smarter. Recently it was exposed by The Independent that certain players of the game Fornite are exploiting smash-hit video game Fortnite’s weak security system by selling illegally purchased V-Bucks, Fortnite’s in-game currency, on the dark web at a discounted price.
The criminals acquire the in-game currency using stolen credit cards, so the gamers buying it are unwittingly helping them launder money. The report says the vendors accept bitcoin and bitcoin cash since cryptocurrency payments offer them most anonymity.
The investigators claim that V-Bucks sold in bulk are available solely on the dark web, while smaller amounts are advertised via social media, such as Instagram and Twitter.
While the scale of the enterprise is yet unknown, the Fortnite coins sold on eBay alone earned the criminals over $250,000 in just two months.
By posing as potential customers, Sixgill agents uncovered operations being conducted around the globe in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and English.
“Criminals are executing carding fraud and getting money in and out of the Fortnite system with relative impunity,” Benjamin Preminger, a senior intelligence analyst at Sixgill, told The Independent.
“Threat actors [a malicious person or entity] are scoffing at Epic Games’ weak security measures, saying that the company doesn’t seem to care about players defrauding the system and purchasing discounted V-bucks… This directly touches on the ability of threat actors to launder money through the game.” He added.
Separate research by IT security firm Zerofox found 53,000 different instances of online scams relating to Fortnite between early September and early October. An estimated 86 percent of the scam incidents were shared via social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.