"Get your Fortnite aimbot here! Take out enemies with ease and precision to become the new record holder for solo kills!"
"Free V-Bucks here! Come get your free V-Bucks!"
Sound too good to be true? That's probably because it is. But that hasn't stopped tens of thousands of Fortnite players from installing various hacks, mods, and exploits in the hopes of gitting gud. This week, one particular piece of cheat software was found to have been downloaded more than 78,000 times. What's more, it was also found to be installing malicious adware onto the PCs of those who used it.
You can thank game streaming service Rainway for discovering the attack. CEO Andrew Sampson wrote in a blog post that the company's engineering team noticed a large influx of strange error reports on June 26, and after doing some digging, noticed that all of the clients affected had played Fortnite. As with any popular game, Fortnite has its share of cheaters, and one only needs to take a glance at YouTube to find a plethora of videos promising ban-proof aimbots, free V-Bucks, or other illicit goodies.
Rainway downloaded hundreds of cheating software packages, using a custom filter to figure out if any of them were the one causing error reports. While all of the programs were found to be malicious (yes, all of them), it wasn't until several hours later that the culprit was found. Rainway has since contacted the file host and the download has been removed, though not before being downloaded 78,000 times.
You may be thinking, "Pfft, adware. So what? I block all my ads anyway." Well, not only did this cheat install adware (which could circumvent your standard blocking), but it also created what's called a "man-in-the-middle" attack. Basically, a MitM attack inserts an unknown third-party into a two-way communication - this third-party can then intercept and read data sent between the two primary parties and steal confidential information to use in phishing or outright identity theft. And if the adware itself doesn't do that, it at the very least creates a vulnerable spot that other, even more malicious programs can take advantage of.
In short, don't try to cheat, at Fortnite or any other online game. At best you'll download software that doesn't work, and at worst you'll open up your PC to all sorts of horrible crap. Instead of Fortnite cheats, try following some of our Fortnite tips - and I promise, practice and legitimate skill will feel better anyway.
Get the best games and entertainment news, reviews, tips and offers delivered to your inbox every week by signing up to the GamesRadar+ newsletter today.