Fake and malicious versions of Fortnite for Android spread all over the internet

Amelia Heathman
Fake Fortnite on Android links are appearing on YouTube: Getty Images

Fortnite Battle Royale is hands down the biggest game of the year, making nearly $300 million in the month of May.

After Fortnite launched on mobile, specifically Apple’s iOS platform, early this year the game has shot up in popularity.

But, Fortnite still isn’t available to play on Android yet. The game’s developers, Epic Games, have said Fortnite on Android will be coming soon, with fans eagerly awaiting its arrival.

As a result of the hype around Fortnite, analysis by Nathan Collier at the cyber security company Malwarebytes has discovered fake and malicious Fortnite for Android links all over YouTube.

Mobile malware developers are taking advantage of expectant gamers with videos on the platform that say things like “How to Install Fortnite on Android” or “Fortnite for Android”.

There are even links in YouTube ads, pretending to be Android versions of the game. From these links, apps can be downloaded.

Collier said these malicious apps are stealing content from the iOS app to make it look legitimate. For instance, the icon is the same as the iOS version, and the loading screen and login screens are all very similar.

But it’s after reaching the login screen that things start to go wrong. A box comes up saying “Mobile Verification”. If you click OK, the app redirects to a website.

This website claims that you need to verify you are not a bot (using some bad grammar), but in order to pass this verification process, you need to download another “free” app.

The website asks you download other apps in order to

However, if you download this free app you could end up with malware all over your Android smartphone. And, no matter how many free apps you download, the game never unlocks because it doesn’t exist right now.

“The scheme goes like this: get a couple of over-excited people salivating for a chance to play Fortnite on Android, and get paid,” explained Collier. “The more downloads that come from the website, the more money the malware developers can make.”

But how long do I need to wait for Fornite on Android?

According to Epic, Fornite on Android is coming this summer. Though it didn’t confirm dates, it said: “We know many of you are excited for this release, and we promise that when we have more information to share, you’ll hear it from us first.”

Collier’s advice is that if you are excited for Fornite on Android, just hold on.

“We suggest listening to that inner voice that warns, “This is too good to be true,” in order to avoid getting malware,” he said.

No one wants to spend months cleaning malware off the phone as a result of a fake game, do they?