Gamers who cheat in the online game Fortnite are now at risk of infecting their PC with ransomware. This new type of ransomware presents itself as an aim bot. After clicking the program all files on the victim’s computer will be locked by an encryption. If the Fortnite cheaters don’t pay up, the malware deletes their files.
The ransomware is called Syrk. This malicious piece of software encrypts personal files like photos, videos and documents. Victims need to pay before a timer runs out. A password will be send as soon as the victims have paid.
Over 250 million gamers have registered an account for Fortnite. The record for monthly active users (MAU) was set in August 2018. Back then 78.3 million gamers played the game. Fortnite is free. Therefore it’s popular with a younger generation.
It’s not unlikely that Fortnite cheaters will see their homework deleted by Syrk. Cheaters do anything to gain an advantage in the online shooter, and now their greed for victory is being punished by another hacker. Developer Epic Games has banned thousands accounts over the past two years, but the company hasn’t issued a statement about the ransomware. Who would they, because gamers shouldn’t cheat anyway.
How to remove Fornite cheaters malware
The name of the file is SydneyFortniteHacks.exe. The file is 12MB in size. The program is based on Hidden Cry. This is a coding program that hit the web in December last year. This program disables Windows Defender and User Access Control. After that it encrypts and renames a whole bunch of files. Every two hours more files will be deleted until the payment has been received.
It’s quite easy to circumvent the malware. Kaspersky has the answer. The password is in the folder C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\, in a file called -pw+.txt or +dp-.txt.
To recover your files:
- Copy the key.
- In the ransom demand window, press Show My ID to open a page showing your ID and invitation to Enter the key to Decrypt your Files.
- Paste the key into the appropriate field and press Decrypt my Files.
Crypto and malware
McAfee Labs saw an increase of 4467 percent in crypto-mining malware. They called crypto-mining malware one of the biggest stories of 2018. Crypto hackers often use a vulnerability to gain access. In the case of this Fortnite hack, the hackers just use the stupidity of their victims.
Fortnite is available in the Epic Games Store on PC. Gamers with a Playstation 4 or Xbox One can also download the game to their consoles.
Also published on Medium.