“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

Most organizations want security vendor consolidation

4 min read - Cybersecurity is complicated, to say the least. Maintaining a strong security posture goes far beyond knowing about attack groups and their devious TTPs. Merely understanding, coordinating and unifying security tools can be challenging.We quickly passed through the “not if, but when” stage of cyberattacks. Now, it’s commonplace for companies to have experienced multiple breaches. Today, cybersecurity has taken a seat in core business strategy discussions as the risks and costs have risen dramatically.For this reason, 75% of organizations seek to…

How IBM secures the U.S. Open

2 min read - More than 15 million tennis fans around the world visited the US Open app and website this year, checking scores, poring over statistics and watching highlights from hundreds of matches over the two weeks of the tournament. To help develop this world-class digital experience, IBM Consulting worked closely with the USTA, developing powerful generative AI models that transform tennis data into insights and original content. Using IBM watsonx, a next-generation AI and data platform, the team built and managed the entire…

How the FBI Fights Back Against Worldwide Cyberattacks

5 min read - In the worldwide battle against malicious cyberattacks, there is no organization more central to the fight than the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). And recent years have proven that the bureau still has some surprises up its sleeve. In early May, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the conclusion of a U.S. government operation called MEDUSA. The operation disrupted a global peer-to-peer network of computers compromised by malware called Snake. Attributed to a unit of the Russian government Security Service,…

How NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 Tackles Risk Management

4 min read - The NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 (CSF) is moving into its final stages before its 2024 implementation. After the public discussion period to inform decisions for the framework closed in May, it’s time to learn more about what to expect from the changes to the guidelines. The updated CSF is being aligned with the Biden Administration’s National Cybersecurity Strategy, according to Cherilyn Pascoe, senior technology policy advisor with NIST, at the 2023 RSA Conference. This sets up the new CSF to…