Pokémon Go fans have been warned to be cautious after security researchers discovered that one popular companion app contained sophisticated malware.
Experts from Kaspersky Lab, the company behind Kaspersky Antivirus, uncovered malware code within the popular Guide for Pokémon Go that allowed its creators to seize control of unsuspecting users’ phones.
The malicious software allowed cybercriminals to deliver unsolicited ads and to take control over app installation and removal.
Hackers Target Popular Brands
Kaspersky Lab’s Senior Malware Analyst Roman Unuchek said Pokémon Go was the kind of popular online phenomenon that cybercriminals were usually quick to take advantage of.
He added: “Victims of this Trojan may, at least at first, not even notice the increase in annoying and disruptive advertising, but the long term implications of infection could be far more sinister. If you’ve been hit, then someone else is inside your phone and has control over the OS and everything you do and store on it.”
Internet Security Experts Urge Users to Take Action
Kaspersky Lab estimates that only around 6,000 users have been successfully infected so far. However, they warned that the software was sophisticated enough to lay dormant and wait for specific instructions before activating the malicious code.
Unuchek said: “Even though the app has now been removed from the store, there’s up to half a million people out there vulnerable to infection – and we hope this announcement will alert them to the need to take action.”
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