Having your account hacked and stolen is a serious fear in online games, especially if you have dozens of desirable cosmetic items that can’t be easily obtained. According to a new report from Night Lion Security, stolen video game accounts are a billion-dollar industry, with Fortnite, Minecraft, and Runescape logins being particularly popular.

The report details how criminals use tools to check if credentials stolen in data breaches unlock Fortnite accounts. If the account has valuable skins or cosmetic items, it can sell for thousands of dollars, though the average account sells for $200 to $250. One seller that Night Lion interviewed said that they turn over $20,000 in Fortnite accounts alone per day.

Though Epic Games notes that selling your Fortnite account is in violation of their Terms of Service, many users do it anyway. In a response to the report, Epic says that it uses captcha, IP addresses, and machine learning to protect players from account thieves. Night Lion also notes that the demand for stolen accounts has increased recently due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and that it has shared this report with the FBI.

Data breaches are nothing new in gaming, and the 2011 PlayStation Network breach is perhaps the most notable, with over 77 million PSN accounts compromised. A Fortnite bug exposed the personal information of millions of accounts back in 2018, and a lawsuit is currently pending over that breach.

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