Over 10 million users have downloaded fake Pokémon Go apps since August. Android devices are particularly vulnerable to fake scams, but it appears, this time, devices running on iOS systems are the victims of the false Poke-game.
iOS and Android users won’t find the fake apps in the inbuilt App Store, but in third-party stores. According to firm Trend Micro, fake Pokémon Go apps have found success in two of the most popular third-party app stores for iPhones and iPads.
These are Vietnam-based HiStore and Chinese Haima. Trend Micro estimates the fake Pokémon App downloads on HiStore are around 10 million and 1 million in Haima store. The counterfeit apps are full of ads and other features that may spam and download programs on the device.
Google and Apple recommend referring only to the original app stores
Most fake apps pose around the internet as the most popular programs for mobile devices. Hardly any of them find success in getting to the smartphone or tablet, as the user can see which one is fake by checking the genuine maker of the program.
The rise of best-seller app also increases the risk of spam apps on third-party vendors. Users should always refer to the trusted App Store and Google Store to avoid scams. Crowded social medias like Facebook, Vine, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are also a target of fake versions in the third-party stores for both Android and iOS.
Trend Micro says the most installed fake app of all times is a counterfeit version of Minecraft. It currently stands at the top with 68 million downloads.
Apple keeps track of trusted developers with certificates, but malware creators seem to find easy ways to create new accounts and get new certificates. Security firms believe this is the major loophole in the Developer Enterprise program that allows dangerous software to enter iOS platforms.
Google’s Android also recommends to stick to the Google Play Store but offers little to no restriction to third-party developers that may even set themselves apart from the tech giant’s competitor.
There are also fake apps in the original stores
One of them is the false “DigiLocker,” a potentially dangerous program that may steal sensitive information inside the device.
The original app hails from the Government of India and functions like a digital store room for all kinds of documents, including official records like the ID card and the driver’s license that can supplant the physical ones.
The real developer of the genuine app is MeITY, Government of India. Any other developer name is fake.