- The demand for stolen game accounts and items has risen in 2020, and hackers are now making millions.
- The most lucrative targets are Fortnite, Minecraft, Runescape, and Roblox, but there are many more.
- High-end sellers can make up to $40,000 per week, or over two million USD by the end of the year.
Fortnite is going through a rumble road right now with all that has happened on the App and Play Store, but it still remains a hugely popular video game with hundreds of millions of active players. What is popular draws the attention of hackers, and Fortnite is no exception to this unwritten rule.
Researchers working for “Night Lion Security” attempted to measure the scale of the stolen Fortnite accounts industry and how much money hackers make out of it, so here are their findings.
In 2020 alone, about two billion records that seem to be stolen game accounts appeared on dark web markets and forums, either for sale or shared freely. There are accounts from Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, Runescape, and various other popular game titles in these listings.
According to Night Lion, game account sellers make up to $40,000 per week, which is about $2,080,000 per year. High-end sellers average $25,000 per week, and low-end sellers average a still respectable $5,000 per month.
To make the most out of the stolen accounts, they typically auction those that are objectively more valuable than others. That would be accounts of higher-level players with many and valuable in-game items.
The auctions take place in private Telegram channels, where some account brokers buy accounts to sell them for a higher price. To ensure that this bartering happens on relatively reliable grounds, the actors are using validity account checkers like Axenta.
The following table provides an overview of the cost of the items offered for purchase, indicating that everything is for sale. From full account access to in-game skins, interested individuals can find anything they are after, and the prices fluctuate depending on what their perceived value is.
The element that plays a decisive role in that valuation is popularity, and Fortnite sits on the throne at the moment.
Finally, the researchers mention the existence of customer service and even money returns, as the size of the market calls for it.
In the Fortnite community, this service is handled by “Community Checkup,” which consists of five members that review disputes on the relevant private Telegram channels. It tracks scammers, bans users who try to fraud others, and compensates for any confirmed damages. Anyone who gets blacklisted by the Community Checkup judges is essentially barred from accessing the highly lucrative game account market.