Back in June, Fortnite fans, hopeful for an Android version of the game, were teased with fake apps, which were in turn part of a cybercriminal’s scheme. Fast forward to present day, and their prayers have been answered, as a real Android version of the popular game has been released. However, a recently revealed flaw in the app is raining on their parade, as Google security researchers have revealed this week that the Fortnite Android app is vulnerable to man-in-the-disk (MitD) attacks.
For some context, a man-in-the-disk (MitD) attack is rooted in an app’s ability to use ‘External Storage,’ which is one of the two types of data storage methods supported by the Android OS. With this attack, a cybercriminal can watch a particular app’s External Storage space and tamper with the data stored in this storage space since its shared by all apps.
Now, you may be wondering how does this work with this new Fortnite Android app vulnerability? This recently disclosed vulnerability allows for malicious apps (that are already installed on a user’s phone) to hijack the Fortnite app’s installation process and download other malicious apps. This means a hacker could essentially install any nasty software they wanted on to a victim’s phone. And according to recent McAfee research, this is precisely what some parents fear when their children game online. In fact, 52% worry about cybercriminals hacking gaming accounts.
Fortunately, Epic Games is already on the case. The major video game company has already released version 2.1.0 of this application, which patches this vulnerability. However, Fortnite users must still take a few important security steps of their own in order to protect themselves from this attack. If you’re a Fortnite gamer, be sure to follow these tips:
- Update, update, update. No matter the application, it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to always update your app as soon as an update is available. Patches (like the one released by Epic Games) are typically included with every update.
- Clean house. Given this hack relies on preexisting malicious apps a victim’s phone, do your due diligence and clean up the applications on your device. This means deleting any old apps you don’t use, or ones that you may have downloaded from outside an official app store. If you’re unsure if an application is secure or not, do some research – conduct a quick google search or scan through the app’s review section on an app store and see if it has had any issues with security.
- Use a mobile security solution. As app vulnerabilities such as this one continue to impact mobile users, make sure your devices are prepared for any threat coming their way. To do just that, cover these devices with a mobile security solution, such as McAfee Mobile Security.