PurpleJelly offers efficient and competitively priced IT support Hampshire to help our clients stay well connected and ahead of cyber threats that could damage their business. Something we especially like to keep vigilant for is malware and data mining operatoons, which is something of a concern when it comes to popular programmes and apps, such as Pokemon Go.
With Pokemon Go newly released in the UK, desperate fans no longer have need to install (“side-load”) potentially malware-infested APK files in order to grab hold of the app, but this doesn’t mean that other dangers aren’t lurking in the shadows beyond the relative safety of the official app.
Amidst privacy concerns surrounding the app itself, a number of third party apps are attempting to ride the coattails of Pokemon Go’s success and use its massive popularity to access users’ personal data with promises of exclusive hints, cheats, guides, and even music.
The official Pokemon Go app requests certain permissions such as location data (amongst other things), but a number of third party apps are requesting a fair amount of sensitive data including contacts, camera rolls, social media account logins as well as the ability to take control of a device’s camera and microphone. Experts are warning that data collected in this way by unverified third party apps is being farmed and sold for profit, either to advertisers or even the black market. On top of this, permissions such as access to messaging could also lead to malicious apps generating SMS messages to premium rate numbers in order to exploit accounts.
Most of these suspicious third party apps weren’t found on Google Play or Apple’s App Store, but there were still a few shady examples that could be downloaded from these legitimate sources! A good way to combat malicious apps like this is to check the permissions before you download them; if the unofficial app wants even more permissions than Pokemon Go, or seems to be asking an excessive amount compared to what it offers (an app that provides music from the official game doesn’t need contact or account information to function, for example) then it might be up to no good, and the best option may simply be to forego downloading it.