While Fortnite is among the most popular smartphone games, Android users are being duped about its availability. According to internet security firm McAfee, many YouTube videos incorrectly show that the game, created by Epic Games, is accessible on Android, and can be downloaded through links, that redirect to a ‘leaked’ version of the game.
The problem has been created by Google/YouTube searches made by Android smartphone users. If a person searches for ‘Download Fortnite for Android‘ or ‘How to install Fortnite on Android‘, he/she is likely to be redirected to links that claim an Android version of the game. Some of these, which lead to YouTube videos, convince users of Fornite’s Android app, and have millions of views. Interestingly, McAfee notes that these fake apps, claiming to be Fortnite for Android, show screenshots from the game’s iOS version. These fake apps go so far as to imitate the games intro music, and feature a login prompt. But that’s all on these apps resembling Fornite.
From here on, the fake Fortnite apps ask Android users for mobile verification, through which users get redirected to another website. On that site, users are expected to prove that they are not bots, and are then led to a second app, that holds ‘download instructions’ for Fortnite. This creates a vicious trap, as gamers are then misled to continuously download these apps, without an easy escape. Repeated downloads, even of fake apps, can generate money for cybercriminals from app stores.
To safeguard themselves, users should check the developer of an app, to find out if it is legitimate or not. The availability of an app is also disclosed by the maker on its website, which acts as another reference point. Also, verified apps on Android receive certification from Google Play Protect that safeguards users from violations or bugs. Importantly, smartphone owners must consider additional layers of security for suspicious apps, so that their access to the smartphone’s hardware/software remains restricted when not active.