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A Pokémon GO APK is giving hackers control of your phone

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Pokémon GO players that fall outside of North America, Australia and New Zealand may need to use a bit of caution when downloading the game. Currently, APK files are being used so that people outside the aforementioned countries can load it on Android phones. A word of caution when doing so, as a well-profiled security firm is urging users to proceed with caution as at least one specific APK opens a backdoor entry into your phone. 

Warning for current local Pokémon GO users

The warning comes from a security firm called, Proofpoint, which is sending out a warning to those that couldn't wait for an official app store release. According to Proofpoint, on specific APK, was modified to install a backdoor called DroidJack. DroidJack (also known as SandroRAT) is a malicious remote access tool (RAT)  which virtually gives the attacker full control over a victim's phone.

Understandably, you may be concerned at this point. If you are unsure if your phone has malicious software, Proofpoint recommends several ways to check. The simplest being, head over to your settings > Applications > Applications manager > Pokémon GO > Permission > More . 

The outlined permissions below have been added by DroidJack. Seeing those permissions granted to the Pokémon GO application could indicate that the device is infected, although these permissions are also subject to change in the future.


The firm also noted that going deep into the game’s files highlights some fake starter classes (including one called net.droidjack.server).

Proofpoint has a full list of warning signs on the blog if you want to be 100% sure your phone is safe. 

Closing Thoughts

Installing apps from third-party sources, other than officially sanctioned corporate application stores, is never advisable. 

"Even though this APK has not been observed in the wild, it represents an important proof of concept: namely, that cybercriminals can take advantage of the popularity of applications like Pokemon GO to trick users into installing malware on their devices. Bottom line, just because you can get the latest software on your device does not mean that you should. Instead, downloading available applications from legitimate app stores is the best way to avoid compromising your device and the networks it accesses."

Have you checked your phone for the malicious virus? Let us know the result by commenting below or hitting us up Facebook or Twitter.

Read more about Pokémon GO

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