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Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney dubs Google ‘irresponsible’ over Android bug row on Fortnite

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney dubs Google ‘irresponsible’ over Android bug row on Fortnite

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney (right) has dubbed Google "irresponsible" following the company’s swift publication of a flaw affecting the Android version of Fortnite.

The internet giant made it public knowledge on Friday that hackers could hijack the game’s installation software and load it with malware.

The installer for the Fortnite beta was initially put in place following Epic’s decision to bypass Google’s app store in a bid to avoid giving it a cut of the sales.

Bugged

In a statement given to Android Central, Sweeney explained that while Epic “genuinely appreciated” Google’s in-depth security audit that it was “irresponsible” to make it public knowledge.

“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,” said Sweeney.

“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.”

Google does state in its vulnerability disclosure policy that when a previously unknown and unpatched vulnerability in software under active exploitation is observed, it believes that more urgent action is appropriate, which comes in under seven days.

However, in an exchange on Twitter Sweeny said that it was “creating an unnecessary risk for Android users in order to score cheap PR points.”

Epic Games initially revealed it would be bypassing the Google Play store back at the start of August. 

Speaking to PocketGamer.biz, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney explained that due to the digital revolution it’s now possible to cut straight to the consumer and enable a direct relationship with them.

As such, “physical storefronts and middlemen distributors are no longer required”.


Staff Writer

Iain is a freelance writer based in Scotland with a penchant for indies and all things Nintendo. Alongside PocketGamer.Biz, he has also appeared in Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, PCGamesN and VG24/7.

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