Fortnite’s hidden dangers – and what they teach us

This time, it wasn’t either the fun look or the crazy gadgets that the Fortnite appeared in the news. The reason was another: to be removed from both the App Store and the Google Play Store. Just to sum up, Epic, the game’s producer, decided to put in an in-game shopping feature that gave a by-pass to Apple’s and Google’s billing systems. It was obvious that it was a violation of the platform’s terms of use and, unsurprisingly, both withdrew the game from 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 glitch in critical security at the time of game installation that could be exploited by criminals. Okay, it’s not the same situation as it is today, but the fact that Epic decides to subvert the rules of two major stores turns out to be 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 seeking opportunities to take advantage of flaws in products like Fortnite because they know they can potentially affect millions of devices, stealing everything from personal information to card data, as well as defrauding purchase transactions. And, as with any cloud service, app distribution brings with it a shared responsibility for security, that is: if a vulnerability on the store side is exploited and causes damage, it will certainly have to respond in court with the app’s producer .

From a business perspective, in addition to profiting from content distribution, companies like Google and Apple want to be rewarded for offering this peace of mind to the user and the developer – and that’s fair enough. I emphasize that the focus here is not to judge whether Epic acted wrongly or not by circumventing the payment system of the stores, 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 serious mobile dangers are, in June’s Trend Micro Fast Facts, our most recent survey, we saw that there were a total of 421,399 different malwares for the system. And more: in the same survey, Brazil appeared in 5th among the countries with more detections of this type of danger. What does this mean for the user? That all care is welcome and necessary. Avoid downloading files from unreliable sources, use secure passwords and keep your mobile security always up to date so you can enjoy all that the mobile world has to offer – including the best games – without being victimized by what’s bad.

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This opinion piece is by Marisa Travaglin, Head of Marketing at Trend Micro Brasil.

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