“Pokemon Go” seems to have swept into the public’s heart in a big way. The augmented reality game has proven itself to be a wild success with consumers — this week, anyway. But there are problems.

‘Pokemon Go’ Has iOS Problems

One user noted in a Tumblr post that the iOS version of the game does a little sidestep when users sign in with a Google account: It asks for (albeit obliquely) and gets full access to that account. That means the game can read your email, send email, access Google drive documents, look at search and Maps navigation history, and access any private photos you may store in Google.

Rather than have an ulterior motive of a massive info-stealing campaign, it may be that the creators just used some sloppy programming. Instead of using the OAuth mechanism to get only the necessary information, they went to the extreme.

Android Has Issues, Too

On the Android app, things get hairy. It allows the side-loading of an app from the raw Android application package (APK) files without having the system check the program. Because the global rollout has been slowed due to overloaded servers, some Android users will download “Pokemon Go” from some sketchy places and then install the APK files because they cannot find the legitimate app supported in their area.

Cybercriminals are using these APK files as a way to transport and install their own malware. Security firm Proofpoint noted that “this specific APK was modified to include the malicious remote-access tool (RAT) called DroidJack (also known as SandroRAT), which would virtually give an attacker full control over a victim’s phone.”

While SlashGear outlined the actual permissions that the malware seeks, most users will not be able to distinguish the standard version of “Pokemon Go” from an unsecure one. In fact, they may not even know that they have been hijacked with a malicious version of the game.

Enterprises Beware

“Pokemon Go” can be a liability for the enterprise. If one of these infected devices links up to the enterprise’s network, other connected devices would then be at risk.

It seems prudent and necessary for an enterprise to ban the use of this app on corporate networks entirely until the situation gets resolved. As it now stands, “Pokemon Go” is a popular threat vector that cannot be ignored.

More from

Bridging the 3.4 Million Workforce Gap in Cybersecurity

As new cybersecurity threats continue to loom, the industry is running short of workers to face them. The 2022 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study identified a 3.4 million worldwide cybersecurity worker gap; the total existing workforce is estimated at 4.7 million. Yet despite adding workers this past year, that gap continued to widen.Nearly 12,000 participants in that study felt that additional staff would have a hugely positive impact on their ability to perform their duties. More hires would boost proper risk…

The Evolution of Antivirus Software to Face Modern Threats

Over the years, endpoint security has evolved from primitive antivirus software to more sophisticated next-generation platforms employing advanced technology and better endpoint detection and response.  Because of the increased threat that modern cyberattacks pose, experts are exploring more elegant ways of keeping data safe from threats.Signature-Based Antivirus SoftwareSignature-based detection is the use of footprints to identify malware. All programs, applications, software and files have a digital footprint. Buried within their code, these digital footprints or signatures are unique to the respective…

How Do Threat Hunters Keep Organizations Safe?

Neil Wyler started his job amid an ongoing cyberattack. As a threat hunter, he helped his client discover that millions of records had been stolen over four months. Even though his client used sophisticated tools, its threat-hunting technology did not detect the attack because the transactions looked normal. But with Wyler’s expertise, he was able to realize that data was leaving the environment as well as entering the system. His efforts saved the company from suffering even more damage and…

The White House on Quantum Encryption and IoT Labels

A recent White House Fact Sheet outlined the current and future U.S. cybersecurity priorities. While most of the topics covered were in line with expectations, others drew more attention. The emphasis on critical infrastructure protection is clearly a top national priority. However, the plan is to create a labeling system for IoT devices, identifying the ones with the highest cybersecurity standards. Few expected that news. The topic of quantum-resistant encryption reveals that such concerns may become a reality sooner than…