The hidden dangers of Fortnite – and what they teach us

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This time, it was neither for the fun look nor the crazy gadgets that Fortnite made the news. The reason was different: for being removed from both the App Store and the Google Play Store. Just to summarize, Epic, the game’s producer, decided to put an in-game shopping feature that gave a by-pass in the charging systems of Apple and Google. It was obvious that it was a violation of the terms of use of the platforms and, unsurprisingly, both removed the game from the stores, despite all the popularity it has.

This episode resembles another one, from 2018. At the time, the same Epic decided that it was going to distribute the game to other stores on Android (in this system there are other app stores besides Play) and, again unsurprisingly, this opened a flaw in critical security when installing the game that could be exploited by criminals. Okay, it’s not the same situation today, but the fact that Epic decides to subvert the rules of two major stores ends up being an important reminder of why these rules exist in the first place.

When a company takes responsibility for distributing content as popular as a game, it is facing a huge security challenge. Cybercriminals are actively looking for opportunities to take advantage of flaws in products like Fortnite because they know they can potentially affect millions of devices, stealing from personal information to card data, as well as defrauding purchase transactions. And, as with any cloud service, app distribution carries with it a shared responsibility in security, that is: if a vulnerability on the store side is exploited and generates losses, it will certainly have to respond legally together with the app’s producer. .

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From a business point of view, in addition to profiting from the distribution of content, companies like Google and Apple want to be rewarded for offering this tranquility to the user and the developer – and that is very fair. I emphasize that the focus here is not to judge whether Epic did wrong or not in circumventing the stores’ payment system, but rather to highlight the importance of following the rules of publication and distribution, for the safety of the user and the company itself.

To get an idea of ​​how mobile hazards are a serious issue, in the Trend Micro Fast Facts of June, our most recent survey, we saw that there were a total of 421,399 different malware for the system. What’s more, in the same survey, Brazil was ranked 5th among the countries with the most detections of this type of danger. What does this mean for the user? That all care is welcome and necessary. Avoid downloading files from untrusted sources, use secure passwords and keep your mobile security always up to date so that you can enjoy everything the mobile world offers good – including the best games – without being victimized by what it brings bad.


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