The rise of "Pokemon GO" as an augmented reality game has led to some malicious individuals creating a dubious version of the game. Existing and new players alike are warned that a fake version of the game is now available for download in both Google Play and Apple App stores. As of the moment, The Telegraph reports that tens of thousands of Smartphone users have already downloaded the malicious version of the highly popular game.
At least three tag names were identified under the fake versions by Niantic Labs Pokemon Game. Users are warned against three versions, namely: "Pokemon Go Ultimate," "Go Catch 'Em All" and "Pokemon Go: New Version for Free App Game." The "Go Catch 'Em All" version has made it into the top free app's list at the iOS store, while the Android version has already seen up to 50,000 in total downloads.
Telegraph also claims that not all of these fake versions have truly malicious intents but it was later discovered users' screens are locked only to be redirected to porn sites. In another case for Android systems, users are experiencing screen freezes only to restart the device while the app runs in the background producing advertisements.
Meanwhile, Arstechnica released a report from security company ESET and has indicated that "Pokemon Go Ultimate" has the most significant security threat for users. It tends to immediately lock the screen after installation leading to the battery's removal because security apps cannot handle the threat.
In most cases, advertisements embedded in these fake "Pokemon Go" apps require the user to double click the exit or back button before the ads get deleted. A single click on the back button won't do the trick, causing distress on the users.
Google Play has already removed the fake apps from its list. However, security analysts are worried that there will soon be third party entities who can inject new fake versions as Google is still struggling to identify malicious apps in its database.