Malicious Pokemon Go App Is Putting Android Phones At Risk
The new Pokemon GO game was only released a few days ago (July 6), but it’s already spreading like wildfire. Not everyone around the world can be included in the race to catch the most Pokemon since the game hasn’t yet been released internationally. Nintendo and The Pokemon Company first have to increase the server capacity.
However, people are finding other ways to download the Pokemon GO game in the meantime, and tech security experts are warning that it might be best to hold off in light of the discovery of a malicious version of the game being sent around by hackers.
The game is based on the augmented reality technology.
Be Careful before Downloading Pokemon Go
Less than 72 hours after Nintendo released the game in Australia and New Zealand, Pokemon GO app was discovered by a security firm called Proofpoint. The firm discovered a version of the game infected with DroidJack , a malicious remote access tool (RAT).
Basically, DroidJack installs a backdoor that grants hackers complete control of the user’s Android phone.
The game has apparently already added nearly 11 billion dollars to the value of Nintendo, the app’s owner, since being released.
A number of publications have provided tutorials for “side-loading” the application on Android. However, as with any apps installed outside of official app stores, users may get more than they bargained for.
How to Accept Side Loaded Apps on Android Devices
It can be done by visiting the security settings of the device and then enabling the “unknown sources” checkbox. This allows users to install apps from websites other than Google Play, but it also gives hackers have a much better chance of entering the device.
A simple way is to check the application’s permissions, by going into Settings > Apps > Pokemon GO and then scrolling down to the permissions section.
Unfortunately for users that are still waiting for the game to be released in their region, it’s probably best to wait it out instead of raising the risk of downloading the malicious Pokemon GO game.
“Instead, downloading available applications from legal app stores is the best way to avoid compromising your device and the networks it accesses.”
Aside from software, Pokemon Go has also been causing problems in the physical world. In Missouri, US, organised criminals have been taking advantage of those playing the game.