The trending of the latest game Pokemon Go has given way to malicious intent who are doing their best to make the most of the opportunity and have made an app called Pokemon Go Ultimate. It is the first “lockscreen” app that has made its way to the Google Playstore, said software security company ESET. This app promises to work on the lockscreen, but instead is installed as ‘PI Network’ on your phone.
This app can easily be downloaded but when run, it is not saved as Pokemon Go but as “PI Network”. Anyone who ran that app would find their phone completely frozen, forcing them to restart the phone by removing the battery. After rebooting, the PI Network app seemed to disappear, but in fact continued running in the background and generating fake ad clicks.
ESET also spotted several other malicious apps, including Install Pokemon go and Guide & Cheats for Pokémon GO. The plague of malicious tricks surrounding the augmented-reality game highlights the security risk posed by Android’s relatively open app ecosystem.
Though the specific apps highlighted by ESET seem to have been removed from Google Play Store, a search found several apps named with variations on Install Pokémon GO. The app, however, has been pulled down from Google Play Store. One can uninstall the app manually by going to their phone’s application manager.
Several websites have been saving the Pokemon Go app as an apk file and distributing it. This app can be directly downloaded and installed without using the official Google Play Store. Bypassing the Play Store and installing the app manually on Android can be easily done without tweaking any settings or the operating system. However, this could result in a huge security issue on an Android smartphone.
Since Pokemon Go is yet to be launched in over 200 countries, users are advised to stay away from any app that does not come from an official source. We also advise them to wait for the official launch in their country.