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Sideloaded Pokemon GO APK might come with malware

Hackers always tap into the latest events to try and spread malware, and this Pokemon GO craze that has gripped the globe is no different.

Niantic's augmented reality mobile game, that has people walking in 3AM through other people's back yards in search of Pikachus, is currently only available in three countries: the US, Australia and New Zealand.

But that didn't stop everyone else everywhere to play the game, as people rushed to unofficial app stores and used other means to download it.

But there is a reason Google and Apple lock people into using only apps from the official store – such apps must pass through rigorous security checks before being offered to millions of users everywhere. By using unofficial apps, people are risking downloading malware together with the apps, and Pokemon GO being such an instant hit is basically begging hackers to start using it to spread malware.

According to security researchers from cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, there is a malicious version of the game, although the APK is yet to be seen in the wild.

“Bottom line, just because you can get the latest software on your device does not mean that you should,” the team wrote. “Instead, downloading available applications from legitimate app stores is the best way to avoid compromising your device and the networks it accesses.”

If you're not sure whether your version is clean or not, look for the app's permissions. If it has anything more than Contacts, Location, Camera and Storage, you might want to get rid of it.

Image Credit: YouTube

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.