Beware of @PokémonGo #Malware

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Earlier in July, the first malicious Pokémon Go spin-off was detected, but, luckily, the app was found before it was able to make it onto the Google Play store to be downloaded. Unfortunately, not all of the apps are going to be caught in time. For instance, there are various apps that promise to tell users cheats and tips to improve the game. Regardless of their innocent titles, the apps have codes that typically either have users pay for expensive and useless services or force users to click on to pornography ads. 

The apps were first found by security researchers at ESET Mobile Security. Some of the apps found were a lock screen app called “Pokémon Go Ultimate,” along with “scareware” applications “Guide & Cheats for Pokémon GO” and “Install Pokémongo.” The apps had made it onto Google Play by the time they were first found but were taken off after ESET flagged them. The researchers state that the app “Pokémon GO Ultimate” looked similar to the game, but would lock the screen after it started up.

Unfortunately, a simple restart was not the key to fixing the issue. Users would need to take out their battery or restart using an Android, Device Manager. If you were to reboot it, though, the app would still run in the background, running through pornography advertisements. In addition, the apps needed to be uninstalled manually from Android’s Settings.

Although the app had bad intentions, the app could have done much worse. The two other apps did not take over the phones of their users, but were instead “scareware.” “Scareware” are apps that make users subscribe to services that they do not need to subscribe to. If you are going to download Pokémon Go, then ensure that you are downloading the right one, and if at all possible, make sure that more gullible children are downloading the correct app as well.

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