Pokemon Go came and it changed the way people viewed games again. When it came back in July the game was a sensation. Its worldwide success however meant that it also caught the attention of hackers who wanted to also enter into the success.
The game was launched back in July, and then it was only released in some select countries. The selectivity of the game meant that those users who were in restricted markets but still had a passion for the game had to resort to third party apps to make their downloads. However, as we all know downloading something from an untrusted source means facing some risks, and apparently some of the third party Pokemon apps which were downloaded had some malware on them.
Thankfully, as the Pokemon companies released more and more apps for each country on the respective legitimate websites, the number of Pokemon Go malicious apps downloaded on phones became less. However, the problem does not end there and the cyber attackers are now going further. Security researchers claim that they have managed to find some malware which is connected to some Pokemon Go related apps.
Security firm, Kaspersky Labs, disclosed that they had managed to find at least one Android app which is infected by malware and is called the Guide for Pokemon. The app is a hacker created app that has been downloaded at least half a million times. The game was available on the Google Android Store until recently, and as the name suggests was used as a guide for beginners and novices to the augment reality based game. However, the game had a catch to it, in that it also contained some malware that would allow the hackers to take over control of the phone.
Roman Unuchek, a security researcher with Kaspersky Lab said that the app had a malicious code on it that downloaded rooting malware. The malware would then gain access to the main Android operating system. Writing in the blog post also noted that to his knowledge there had been at least 6,000 successful infections from downloads. The researcher from the Russian based firm also noted that some of the most affected users were from Russia, Indonesia, and India, but there was no reason to believe the attacks were only limited to these countries.
One other researcher with Kaspersky Lab, Kate Kochetkova, said that the malware was stagnant at first but with time it would flood the hone with ads. In some cases, the malware would secretly install apps all on its own. She said that the criminals had chosen a mild manner to make their money through ads. They might just change that and decide to lock your phone without consent and ask for ransom, or even steal money from bank accounts.
For people with the Guide to Pokemon app, Kaspersky suggests users delete the app and run a scanner on their phones to check if their phone is infected or not.