Protecting Yourself from Pokémon Go Hacks

3 Tips for Avoiding Hacker Threats and Malware

CLEVELAND–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pokéfan Warning: while the viral success of Pokémon Go has made quite a
few headlines during the past few weeks, the story behind the news for
some is that hackers are now targeting the popular app. As a result,
some of us who play may be exposed, and need to take important measures
to protect our data and devices from malware and hacks.

“Augmented reality apps like Pokémon Go are rooted in the real world
with a host of very real dangers,” said Gabriel Torok, CEO of PreEmptive
Solutions, a company that produces protection software for corporations.
“Some players are being duped into using counterfeit or tampered Pokémon
Go apps, so while we’re all having fun playing the game, we have to take
steps to protect our devices’ personal information from hackers and
malware threats.”

Torok says that counterfeit apps now pose as great a threat to public
and personal safety as counterfeit medications or replacement parts. A
mobile app with malware can capture photos, credentials, and even your
identity (way more toxic than a knock-off watch). Something as wildly
popular as Pokémon Go makes a lucrative target for the new generation of

“This is not a hypothetical,” Torok explained. “Researchers at proofpoint have
already found hacked versions of Pokémon Go on Android – and there’s no
reason to believe that there’s not an all-out race within the criminal
hacker community to exploit the tremendous popularity of this (and
other) wildly popular apps.”

Torok provided three specific steps users of Pokémon Go and other mobile
apps can take to avoid installing a counterfeit app from a hacker.

  • First, don’t download and install a version of a mobile app from a
    file-sharing site. This usually involves a technique called side
    loading where a counterfeit application is placed directly on the
    phone, allowing easy access to your phone and data. When a popular app
    like Pokémon Go hasn’t been officially released in your region, the
    temptation may be great to get access by whatever means possible, but
    it’s simply not worth it.
  • Second, don’t install the application from a secondary app marketplace
    outside of the official Google Play or App Stores. For iOS devices,
    there is no secondary app marketplace – unless you have a jailbroken
    device. For Android, there are secondary marketplaces, but the user
    accepts all responsibilities and risks from installing applications
    from them. Again, it’s just not worth it.
  • Third, even when using an official app store, always review the
    developer before downloading and installing apps. Check how many times
    the app has been downloaded; a popular app like Pokémon Go should have
    been downloaded thousands of times. Look for spelling errors or
    suspicious logos. Make sure to read app reviews, as there might be
    information from users who have previously been tricked.

About PreEmptive Solutions

PreEmptive provides the world’s smartest application protection
solutions to over 5,000 corporate clients spanning virtually every
industry in over 100 countries. PreEmptive Protection is a clear choice
for any organization serious about hardening and protecting their
desktop, mobile, server and embedded applications to secure their trade
secrets (IP), reduce piracy/counterfeiting and prevent tampering of
their applications and hindering data breaches.

Learn more at


PreEmptive Solutions
Erica Kurfis