Pokemon GO Phenomenon is Being Exploited by Hackers

If you haven’t yet heard about Pokemon GO–the latest app craze that’s sweeping the world–chances are it’s only a matter of time before your Facebook feed will fill with gleeful friends boasting about their latest catches. The most popular mobile game ever released, the app encourages users to explore their neighborhoods while searching for animated pokemon characters. Unfortunately, a number of hacker groups have jumped on the game’s success and have already found ways to exploit it.

pokemon go

Pokemon Go can be easily exploited by hackers.

3rd party Pokemon GO downloads can be infected with malware

Because the game has been so popular and consequently overloaded Nintendo’s servers, the company has been forced to slow down their planned global rollout of the game. In countries where the official game has not yet been released, pokemon-hungry gamers have begun sharing the game’s APK files with each other. At least one version of the APK files that have been circulating around the world have been infected with malware. When users download an infected version, it looks virtually identical to the official version, but also contains DroidJack software which allows other users to gain remote access to the mobile phone on which it’s installed.

While it can be difficult to determine whether you have installed an infected version, the best way to tell is by checking the app’s permissions. If the app asks for access to your contacts, call logs, web history, and bookmarks, as well as the ability to record audio, you’ve likely been infected by DroidJack. You can view the app’s permissions by visiting Settings–>Apps–>Pokemon GO.

While it’s unlikely that this issue will affect American users who have access to the official app, this is a good reminder as to why it’s important to wait for official releases rather than trying to find loopholes where you can download apps from a 3rd party source. Only downloads from trusted and verified sources should be allowed on your phone in order to avoid becoming the latest victim of the latest hacking fad.

Howard Tech Advisors: Your partner in tech

At Howard Tech Advisors, we manage your IT infrastructure so that you don’t have to. Keep up with our weekly blog to stay up-to-date on the latest tech trends, security information you need to know to stay safe online, and tips and tricks to effectively navigating an increasingly mobile world.

Don’t forget to check us out on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn too.