Sideloaders beware: a Pokemon Go knock-off contains malware

A security firm says it's already discovered a version of the game containing malware

The new smash-hit game "Pokemon Go" could become bait for hackers wanting to take over your phone.

Researchers at security firm Proofpoint have already found an Android version of the game containing malware. Once installed, it uses a remote access tool called DroidJack that can give a hacker full access to the phone, Proofpoint said Thursday.

The company hasn’t yet seen the infected game in the wild, but it shows that hackers are already hard at work targeting it. Proofpoint discovered the software in a malicious online file repository.

Pokemon Go is the first Pokemon game sanctioned by Nintendo for iOS and Android devices. It was launched earlier this week, but so far it's only officially available in the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, through the App Store and Google Play.

That means people in other countries who are keen to get their hands on it might resort to side-loading the game from third-party app stores -- opening the door to a potentially infected version.

“Just because you can get the latest software on your device does not mean that you should,” Proofpoint warned.

It said that the infected version uses the same startup screen as the original, making it harder to tell apart.

Hackers routinely build fake versions of popular games to infect phones. Hundreds of clones of "Flappy Bird" were offered, for example, and almost 80 percent of them contained malware, according to a 2014 report from Intel Security.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about GoogleIntelIntel SecurityProofpoint

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Michael Kan

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place