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Epic Games responds to Google’s disclosure of a severe Fortnite Android exploit

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Epic Games made the decision to not use the Google Play Store for Fortnite on Android in early August, shortly ahead of its release. Google has warned Epic that this puts players at risk, Epic has continued with their installer despite this. As expected, Google has discovered an exploit in Epic’s installer.

Exploit

Unfortunately, the exploit allows a malicious user or app to hijack the Fortnite download process and route the download away from Epic’s servers to install something entirely different. This is known as a Man-in-the-Disk (MitD) attack. Google has no obligation to look for exploits in Epic’s installer. The decision was likely made to keep the vulnerability from tarnishing the name of the Android platform.

Google discovered the vulnerability on August 15th at 7AM PT and privately notified Epic Games immediately. Within 7 minutes Epic acknowledged the exploit. 10 hours later Epic confirmed they reproduced the exploit and are working on a fix. The next day, August 16th at 4:12PM PT, Epic stated they have deployed a fix to players.

Disclosure

2 hours after the patch, Epic requested that Google withhold details of the exploit. The request was for a full 90 days so that players are given ample time to patch their devices.

To Epic’s dismay, Google proceeded to publicize the vulnerability only 7 days after the patch was deployed to players. Google’s bug disclosure guidelines specifically states that they will disclose a bug within the first 90 days.

“This bug is subject to a 90-day disclosure deadline. After 90 days elapse or a patch has been made broadly available, the bug report – including any comments and attachments – will become visible to the public.”

Response

As expected, Epic Games was not happy with this decision. Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games and Founder of the Unreal Engine provided Mashable with the following statement:

“Epic genuinely appreciated Google’s effort to perform an in-depth security audit of Fortnite immediately following our release on Android, and share the results with Epic so we could speedily issue an update to fix the flaw they discovered.

However, it was irresponsible of Google to publicly disclose the technical details of the flaw so quickly, while many installations had not yet been updated and were still vulnerable.

An Epic security engineer, at my urging, requested Google delay public disclosure for the typical 90 days to allow time for the update to be more widely installed. Google refused. You can read it all at https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/112630336

Google’s security analysis efforts are appreciated and benefit the Android platform, however a company as powerful as Google should practice more responsible disclosure timing than this, and not endanger users in the course of its counter-PR efforts against Epic’s distribution of Fortnite outside of Google Play.”

Ultimately, neither Google or Epic Games are in the right in this situation. Google is right in saying that avoiding the Google Play Store puts Fortnite players at a security risk. On the other hand, Epic requested that Google wait the full 90 days prior to disclosing the exploit, but Google ignored this request giving the follow stating to Mashable:

“User security is our top priority, and as part of our proactive monitoring for malware we identified a vulnerability in the Fortnite installer. We immediately notified Epic Games and they fixed the issue.”

What do you think? Should Google have been more understanding with Epic’s request, despite Epic’s decision which will lose Google at least $50,000,000? Let us know!

Android

Leaked Samsung Galaxy Scout skin coming to Fortnite

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Leaks on the Samsung Health App have revealed a brand new Galaxy skin coming to Fortnite Season 3, as part of an upcoming tournament. Unfortunately, it’ll be as tough to get hold of as the original Galaxy skin. 

Fortnite has become well known in the gaming world for its lucrative crossovers with a host of the world’s biggest companies and brands. Among Star Wars and Marvel, Chapter One brought the stratospheric Galaxy skin into Fortnite.

Despite its awesome aesthetics and positive feedback, the skin was pretty rare in Fortnite. Players who wanted it had to have purchased a Samsung Galaxy mobile phone, hence its scarcity in the game. Unfortunately, this new skin will be equally tough to get hold of.

Samsung Galaxy Scout Skin leaked

On July 17, reputable leaker iFireMonkey appeared to verify an emergent leak, which stated that another Samsung Galaxy skin would be on its way to Fortnite. 

“Due to a mishap on the Samsung Health application,” they said, “twitter use @fu noticed that the Fortnite Galaxy Scout promotion was already on the app earlier than expected. Due to this, we now have a nice image that shows us what this skin will look like”.

Despite its official name as ‘Galaxy Scout’, it has already been nicknamed the ‘Galaxy Girl’; a female twist on the original Samsung Skin added back in 2018.

How to get Samsung Galaxy Scout Skin in Fortnite

While the first Galaxy skin was only unlockable through the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy mobile, players can get their hands on this one by participating in the Fortnite Galaxy Cup. This in-game tournament will take place from July 25-26, with registration opening on July 20. 

The event is anticipated to be mobile-only, and registration is only open to players who already own the original Galaxy skin. Hence, this new skin is expected to only be available to players who have already bought a Samsung Galaxy. 

However, the Galaxy tournament requirements are not yet finalized by Epic, so some players may receive surprise invitations. Until then, it looks like only Samsung owners will be able to get their hands on this skin. 

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There are still massive problems with console Fortnite

Epic is making adjustments to Fortnite through their unannounced and unexplained patches. One thing persists, however: the fact that Fortnite on console is a mess.

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Epic is making adjustments to Fortnite through their unannounced and unexplained patches. One thing persists, however: the fact that Fortnite on console is a mess.

Late in Season 10, Epic opened the door to forced cross-platform. Now, all players on all platforms will be in the same lobby. PC players, console players, and mobile players are all duking it out together.

Mobile players really got the short end of the stick, here. They can’t do nearly as much as their console and PC counterparts, but that’s not the only performance gap that remains an issue.

Console performance in Fortnite Chapter 2 is at an all-time low. On any given day you’re bound to find a post or two about it if you visit the r/FortniteBR subreddit.

There is a long list of issues with Fortnite on Xbox and Playstation. Buildings don’t load, guns don’t load, you can’t see what’s in your inventory, your game freezes, players disappear; the list goes on and on.

Playing Arena on console is a crapshoot. You better hope you’re not contested when you land, or you’re going to get killed while you’re waiting for buildings to load in.

I play on Xbox One, so I experience these issues every day. Most of them would be manageable if it weren’t for the rendering. Buildings just don’t render when you first drop from the Battle Bus.

You’re dead almost every time if you don’t stumble upon some invisible floor loot.

The worst part is that there seems to be no mention of these problems on the Fortnite Community Issues Trello board. This isn’t the first time that console players have had rendering trouble, but Epic is seemingly lost on how to fix it.

It would all be a moot point if this was an even playing field. We wouldn’t have too much of a reason to complain if Playstation and Xbox players were still in isolated lobbies. We’d all be in the same boat.

The problem is that PC players never have this issue. They can kill us before we’re even able to break through a ceiling with our pickaxe. Are you struggling with these problems on console? Vent about it in the comments.

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How to win a Special Edition Fortnite Xbox Controller

Find out how to win a brand-new Special Edition Fortnite Xbox Controller through your skill in the Fortnite Combine.

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Find out how to win a brand-new Special Edition Fortnite Xbox Controller through your skill in the Fortnite Combine.

It seems like the initial intention of Epic’s addition of the ‘Combine’ game mode was to help fine-tune the new sensitivity settings for console players. Since then, it has taken on a life of its own with the help of the speed-running community.

Part of the reason Fortnite is so great is the number of things you can do in the game. You can play a base Fotnite match or an unlimited number of game modes in a Creative lobby.

The Combine was just the next iteration of this, and players have already started to complete the mode in under a minute.

If you’re someone who have been spending hours practicing the Combine, your skills have not gone to waste. Epic has announced a Combine giveaway with a chance to win one in ten Special Edition Fortnite Xbox One Controllers.

The giveaway is set to run now through October 11, so get in there and start practicing.

The rules for the competition are simple. All you have to do is submit a photo or video of your best time to Twitter with #FortniteCombine in the title. 

You must be at least 16 years old to win this prize, and follow the best practices of submissions – found here.

According to the rules, it appears as though Epic is going to pick random players to win the controllers. This is good news and bad news since you don’t have to be one of the fastest times to win a controller.

Special Edition Fortnite Xbox Controller

In all likelihood, though, Epic will be choosing the fastest recorded time as one of the ten winners – so it won’t hurt to try your best. 

Speedrunning entered the Fortnite world in a big way through the Cizzorz Death Runs. Players would compete for the best time to gain money and bragging rights, which eventually culminated in the Fortnite World Cup Creative finals in New York – where Cizzorz’s speedrunning team took home the trophy.

Now, some of these speedrunners who made a name for themselves have hundreds of thousands of subscribers on YouTube – all from speedrunning a Creative Mode map.

Best of luck with your Combine times!

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