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Pokémon Go Malware, European Users Targeted

Posted by Gordon Mcconnell on Thursday, Jul 14, 2016

It’s on more Android phones than the dating app Tinder, people spend more time on this app than Twitter, it’s the most googled phrase on the internet and it was only launched 1 week ago. It’s Pokemon Go. If you are skepticle about the scale of Pokemon Go  have a look at your local park.  When you see clusters  of people (ages from 14 - 40) wandering around following instructions from their phones, looking particuarly excited and intense, the chances are, these are Pokemon Go users.

pokemon go

Released in US and Australian app stores first, the online buzz has lead to wave of consumers desperate to get their pokemon denied hands on the app. Within 48 hours of the initial release false versions of the app were available through torrent sites, Telegram groups, dropbox accounts and 3rd party app stores.

One thing's for certain, hackers like easy targets. People have been willing to risk using  unofficial channels to get versions of the game. These unofficial versions are much more likely to contain malware, some of the malware found allows the hackers to gain full access to all the information the app user has on their phone;  address, contacts, personal e-mails/sms and even the ability to run other applications.

Our tech guys at Red Points would strongly recommend those seeking to get their hands on Pokemon Go in Spain and the rest of Europe (except Germany and the UK where it’s now available) or South America, to wait and get the real thing. However there are workarounds available to get the official app, such as this instructional video by the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK.

If you are still asking, “What is pokemon go?” then;  the app uses augmented reality to allow users to follow a map of their local area in order to  find pokemon, battle other users and find hidden secrets - using your smartphone camera to display this alternative world. 

As you can imagine people walking into into unfamiliar areas, focused on their mobile phone and not their surrounds has resulted in a number of accidents and robberies. As a result police in many areas have issued warnings not to go out looking for pokemon late at night or alone. However there’s been a wave of funny and strange stories of user mishaps. Also there has been a lot of criticism and internet traffic bemoaning the fact 29 year old professionals want to go out after work to find a Gigglypuff.

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About the author

Gordon Mcconnell

Post Written by Gordon Mcconnell

Gordon leads our content team as editor but considers himself a data journalist, who probably has a high midichlorian count. Gordon loves all things inbound-marketing and enjoys talking about the latest tools or changes in the SEO world, much to the irritation of his team.