The Potential Cybersecurity Threat Behind Pokemon Go

Jul 28, 2016

The Potential Cybersecurity Threat Behind Pokemon Go

BY Chris Brunau

Cybersecurity Ransomware

Unless you’re a Slowpoke, you’re well aware that Pokemon Go is taking the world by storm. According to Fortune, 7.2 million people downloaded the augmented reality game during its first week.

Despite the popularity, Pokemon Go is only available in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK. Users in other countries are clamoring to download the app, and unfortunately, hackers have taken advantage of the fervor creating apps designed to mimic Pokemon Go to lure unsuspecting users into their trap.

According to ESET, the apps have already been removed from the Google Play store. Pokemon Go Ultimate is one said apps, and the culprit locks the screen of the device requiring a reboot and then floods the phone with pop-up advertisements. While this isn’t the typical ransomware we are used to, it’s certainly an alarming first step.

ESET offers a few tips to help keep Pokemon trainers from falling into the hands of hackers:

  • Download from a reputable source
  • Check user reviews and focus on negative comments
  • Read the app’s terms and conditions, focusing on permissions
  • Use a quality mobile security solution

As is the case with any form of malware or ransomware, it’s important to be vigilant and know what to look out for. For more tips on all things ransomware, download our eBook: The Business Guide To Ransomware.

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