Why Fortnite’s absence from the Google Play Store is a big security headache

13 Aug 2018

Image: Alberto Garcia Guillen/Shutterstock

Fortnite is finally on Android, but its absence from the Google Play Store is creating some security worries.

Last week, security researchers presenting at Black Hat revealed a compromise that could make Macs used for enterprises vulnerable the first time they connect to Wi-Fi.

In legal wranglings, the EU Court of Justice found in favour of a photographer following a complicated copyright case, which could have massive implications for how online images are reused.

Future Human

Meanwhile, in the UK, several police forces are dealing with a legal challenge from advocacy group Privacy International. The case centres around the use of mobile phone spying equipment and the lack of detail the police are providing.

Read on for this week’s enterprise happenings.

Fortnite is finally on Android but will it cause security issues?

Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, recently debuted the Android version of the game after five months of it being available on the Apple Store. For now, the game is only available on Samsung devices but there is also a beta program on offer.

Epic Games has chosen to bypass the Google Play Store and has asked Fortnite fans to disable default security settings to be able to download the game. The move undermines the platform approach pursued by Google and Android.

The disabling of the settings does present the potential for Android malware to sneak on to devices. Considering the amount of fake Fortnite apps out there, caution is advised. Meanwhile, Google is worried about what this means for its platform.

Snapchat source code makes its way to GitHub

Earlier in the month, Snapchat admitted that a small piece of its source code ended up on GitHub, as detailed in a Motherboard report. According to the firm, an iOS update in May exposed the code and it was rectified immediately at the time.

GitHub removed the code under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which Apple used in February to scrub some of its code from the same platform.

Pacemaker hack puts malware directly on the device

Another group of researchers at Black Hat found that Medtronic pacemakers don’t rely on encryption to protect firmware updates. This failing means hackers can remotely install nefarious files directly to the device, endangering lives.

Researchers Jonathan Butts and Billy Rios told Medtronic about the problem in January 2017. A spokesperson for the company said existing tools mitigate the risks, but the intrepid researchers disagree. Medtronic said it has also issued many security advisories on the issue.

IBM warns of smart city ‘panic attacks’ causing havoc

Smart cities are often cited as the backbone of future society, but new research from Threatcare and IBM X-Force Red shows these smart systems may not be resilient enough.

According to Infosecurity magazine, the researchers found 17 zero-day flaws in systems from the likes of Echelon and Battelle. These flaws leave the door open for bad actors to raise false alarms of flooding or radiation leaks, among other things.

The vendors have since released updates but IBM said more testing of these technologies must happen.

Fortnite loading screen on an Android phone. Image: Alberto Garcia Guillen/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects