Fortnite could blow a hole in cybersecurity

The world’s biggest game is coming to Samsung devices and it could lead to serious trouble.

It is currently without a doubt the most popular game that has influenced mainstream culture like never before.

In some cases, it has been blamed for serious cases of video game addiction, stupid dances and ruining families (If you believe everything you see/read/hear). It has also done good by raising money for charity through international tournaments.

For those that are not aware, Fortnite is a cartoon style game that plays out in a few ways but the most popular mode is Battle Royale where 100 players are dropped on an island and must outshoot, outbuild and outlast to be the last one standing.

As far as games go, this is and others like it are a technical marvel and a free to play runaway success that is making amazing amounts of money by selling skins and other cosmetic upgrades in the game.

All seems rosy. People are happy playing a great game even though the usual few might play it a little too much but Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite decide it might be time to release on the Android platform.
This in itself is no big deal, develop the game, list it on the Google Play Store and turn a profit.
The problem as Epic sees is it is the 30% cut that Google and other App stores take for hosting the app on their system. Why would Epic need Google’s marketing to promote the world’s hottest computer game?

The decision is made by Epic to cut Google out of the equation and “side load” the game.

Side loading is when you install a program from an untrusted source on your phone that has not been approved by the Google Play Store and therefore does not carry the Play Protect stamp of approval. There is no way for consumers to tell that they are downloading and installing the real deal. It could be a trojan app that includes and overlay of your banking app to capture your login information. It could be a cryptominer that thrashes your phone to generate cryptocurrencies like Monero or Ethereum. It could be a straight up spy app recording conversations, location data, screenshots or live video.

For a long time most users have stuck to the safe, well lit corners of curated App stores but now with the popularity of Fortnite we could be facing a time where mainstream users are becoming familiar with the process of side loading and can unwittingly play a game that they are destined to lose.

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