There’s a new money laundering scheme that’s just been uncovered, but this time it’s in the gaming industry. It does not involve a specific individual, corporation or investor, but instead, it’s an abuse of the in-game currency of the popular Fortnite.
Shifting stolen money from the dark web
The Independent uncovered the scheme: cybercriminals have been using the game in order to change money that’s stolen from credit cards off the dark web, as reported by Techraptor.
It seems that the stolen cards are used to buy V-bucks, which is the virtual currency in Fortnite. These are usually purchased to buy in-game outfits, weapons, and more items.
V-bucks have represented a massive revenue stream for Epic Games and Fortnite. For instance, there’s been a profit of over $3 billion for Epic Games last year.
For cybercriminals, the V-bucks are bought off of the stolen cards and then they are re-sold for a net profit off of the dark web at a discount rate. The stolen money can be then cleaned, so to speak, which basically means that it’s made more legit via a standard transaction.
Most of these transactions are made via crypto as well, to make transactions untraceable.
Sixgill is analyzing the case
Cybersecurity firm Sixgill worked with The Independent analyzing the dark web for potential sellers who are connected to this scheme.
Several operations have already been uncovered, and there are sellers across the globe in five different languages.
“Criminals are executing carding fraud and getting money in and out of the Fortnite system with relative impunity,” said Benjamin Preminger, a senior intelligence analyst at Sixgill.
He continued and detailed: “Threat actors [a malicious person or entity] are scoffing at Epic Games’ weak security measures, saying that the company doesn’t seem to care about players defrauding the system and purchasing discounted V-bucks… This directly touches on the ability of threat actors to launder money through the game.”
Epic Games still has to address the security breaches or laundering schemes found on Fortnite.
After finishing Theatrical Journalism at the Faculty of Theatre and Television in Cluj-Napoca, Rada reviewed movies, books, theatre pieces and she also wrote articles from the IT niche as a content editor for software producers. At the moment, she is working with various online advertising firms.