Beware: The Internet is full of bogus Pokemon Go versions!
Before we continue with the article, we want to emphasize that Pokemon Go virus has nothing to do with the original application which is growing ever more popular among the users worldwide. In fact, it can be any malicious program which takes advantage of the renowned name of this highly addictive augmented-reality game. In fact, Google Play has already terminated several of such applications from the online shop because of malware allegations. As long as the app is in the top charts, new variants of fake game versions can always be expected. For instance, two suspicious programs have recently been disclosed as potentially malicious. The “Install Pokemongo” and “Guide & Cheats for Pokemon Go” apps charged considerable amounts of money to help the users collect Pokecoins, Pokeballs, and Lucky Eggs. Google Play reacted quickly, and these apps are no longer available to obtain. Do not be deceived, though, because not all of the programs related to the original app are dangerous. For instance, “Poké Radar” and “Helper for Pokémon Go” are completely legitimate programs which only help the users enhance their gaming experience. Although, if you accidentally downloaded some corrupted version of the game, remove Pokemon Go virus from your device without hesitation. If you are an Android user, software like Reimage mobile can help you determine the legitimacy of your downloaded apps and remove them, in case some suspicions arise. In case your iOS has been targeted, try Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus utilities.
What significantly increases the possibility of smartphones and tablets being infected with a fake Pokemon Go version is that the original one is not yet released in all countries, such as Japan, China or South Korea. The impatient users might be looking for the non-existing game in the app store and that it where the creators of malicious apps have a chance of stepping in. There is no guarantee that the criminals will not use the popularity of this app to spread some more serious infections, such as Cerber virus. In fact, there are already reports of similar incidents. An iOS user from Russia had the device locked after downloading a fake Pokemon Go version and was asked to pay €40 to unlock it. It is obvious that cyber criminals are becoming more advanced in the ways they use to trick and exploit the users that is why you need to be careful about what you agree to install on your device. If you have already been infected, proceed with the Pokemon Go removal at once, without allowing the virus to take control.
How to avoid installing fake and insecure versions of this game?
To determine, whether the version of the game is legitimate it is always useful to take a look at the app reviews and ratings. These are great indicators of not worthy programs. If you find that the app is poorly reviewed and displays a lot of critique from the users – refrain from downloading it and opt for a safer option instead. If you have already decided on obtaining some program, do not do it in a rush and closely investigate what permissions does it require. Terminate the installation immediately in case you notice anything suspicious.
August 2016 update: PokemonGo ransomware has been created
Unfortunately, PokemonGo virus is no longer a concern of Android users only, but also of all people who use a computer. Cybercriminals have developed and released a crypto-ransomware variant that acts like any other typical ransomware. PokemonGo ransomware encrypts victim’s data on the compromised PC, asks for money, and even adds a hidden “Hack3r” user account to the system to allow the cybercriminal to access the computer and control it remotely. This virus adds .locked file extensions to encrypted files and asks to contact crooks for decryption instructions by sending a letter to the following e-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Currently, there is no way to retrieve documents, music, videos, photos and other precious files encrypted by this ransomware. The only way to retrieve them is to transfer them to a clean computer from a backup drive. It goes without saying that PokemonGo malware removal must be completed first.
September 2016 update: New Pokemon Go Trojan found on Google Play
A new rogue Pokemon Go application was found, and this new parasite specifically targets Android devices. The app called “Guide for Pokemon Go” is a supposed helper for the users who want to learn more about Pokemon Go gaming peculiarities. The Android users have downloaded this app over 500,000 times. But what they did not is that this app carries a dangerous Trojan which roots and hijacks the device they are downloaded on. The same Trojan has been found in other applications too, though their names or time of upload do not seem to be related. To be more specific, it is a parasite called HEUR:Trojan.AndroidOS.Ztorg.ad and it is more advanced than its previous versions. The researchers who took upon its investigation claim that the malware is protected by several layers of defense, so its source code is virtually impossible to read. What the experts managed to find out, though, is that this virus takes advantage of the Android vulnerabilities discovered within the year 2012 through 2015. Using these security gaps the virus can automatically download additional software or display ads on the infected device. Be careful, protect your device with specialized software and stay away from Guide for Pokemon Go!
How to remove Pokemon Go virus?
As we have already mentioned, Pokemon Go removal can be carried out using a proper antivirus software. Make sure that you obtain a utility compatible with your device. Otherwise, you may not be able to run the system scan. If the program is not malicious, though, antivirus utilities may not register it. In such a case, you can simply remove Pokemon Go app from your device through the regular device settings. Most importantly, remember to always keep a close watch for the potentially dangerous applications.