pokemon go security

Pokemon Go: Global Craze or Huge Security Risk

If you see people, adults and kids alike, walking around town with their eyes locked on their phones – chances are, they’re playing Pokemon Go. The game, which was released on July 6, has been a massive success. It’s been downloaded millions of times, already overtaking the dating app Tinder, and set to shortly overtake the social network Twitter.

Using augmented reality technology, Pokemon Go fuses the real world and digital world together, allowing you to see and catch virtual Pokemon alongside real-world objects right from your phone screen. For instance, a Doduo could be peeking out from a tree just outside your house.

However, due to the app’s immense popularity, users have experienced problems such as crashing servers, freezes, and delays. On top of that, security issues have been raised. According to Adam Reeve, the principal architect at the cybersecurity analytics firm RedOwl, when users sign into Pokemon Go using their Google account (instead of registering for an account), they risk granting the game access to their entire Google account – allowing the app to see and modify nearly all the information in your account.

In response to the security issues, Niantic Labs, the company that developed the game for Nintendo, said the app’s request for full account access was a mistake. In fact, they’ve addressed the security concerns with a new update that is live in the app store.

The update fixes some security bugs that stops the popular app from requesting full access to your Google account. Now the game will only ask for basic information such as your name and email address. The update also promises more stability and patches such as:

  • Resolved issues causing crashes
  • Fixed Google account scope
  • Trainers do not to have to enter their username and password repeatedly after a force logout
  • Added stability to Pokémon Trainer Club account log-in process

Fixing the Security Issues Ahead of the Update

To revoke the full account permissions access, Pokemon Go users should go to their “My Account” Google page. From there, navigate to “Connected Apps and Sites” under “Sign-in and Security.” Then select “Manage Apps,” click on the Pokemon app, and select “Remove Access.”


The Latest Security Technology for Guns

At the start of the new year, the White House announced plans for executive action in an effort to curb shooting deaths. President Obama directed the Departments of Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security to analyze and research various means to accomplish this mission. One approach that has been met with much controversy and debate is gun security technology.

This broad term covers a variety of devices intended to secure guns so that they will be inert if they fall into the wrong hands and prevented from firing altogether except by their lawful owners. While pro-gun factions initially opposed this security technology, claiming how this step toward gun control threatened their Second Amendment rights, both sides did agree on one aspect: the importance of gun safety.

Security technology for guns today is increasingly associated with “smart guns.” Smart guns are employed through electronic devices to ensure that they cannot be fired unless the lawful user is authenticated through pass codes, fingerprint scans, or similar methods. This technology has been around for decades, but there had never been any sort of widespread adoption of smart guns, largely in part due to opposing groups such as the NRA. Here are some new security technologies that have arrived in the gun market.

Smart Gun Technology

Armatix, a German gun manufacturer, sells a .22 caliber pistol that can only be fired if the shooter is wearing a watch that transmits a signal. The shooter must also enter a PIN number to activate the weapon while a delay timer automatically deactivates the pistol after a period of disuse. This renders the gun useless to anyone who does not know the PIN. Armatix also sells a lock inserted into a gun’s barrel that can only be removed by entering a passcode.

Winchester Safes

Venerable gun maker Winchester proudly proclaims how they “Won the West” with their line of firearms, and now offer new versions of the traditional method for storing guns – the home safe. Different sized models with names like Bandit and Big Daddy are large enough to store many guns, including longer rifles, along with ammunition or other valuables. High-end models like the Legacy Premier stand six feet tall and weigh 1,600 pounds. The safes are opened or closed with a hand crank, and locked or unlocked with a passcode.


GunVault is a Las Vegas-based company that provides smaller safes to secure individual weapons. However, it’s upcoming ARVault is only large enough to store a rifle once it has been disassembled. The real innovation behind this invention is in the locking mechanisms, which rely on a biometric scanner to verify the owner’s fingerprints.


Identilock is another promising device using biometrics, this time as a lock that fits over the trigger guard, leaving the gun unusable. A handy fingerprint scanner above the trigger verifies the user for easy release. This security technology allows the owner to add or remove other shooters via fingerprint scans. A friend at the gun range could be easily added and removed later. Another family member could be added for home defense, or removed if showing suicidal or violent tendencies.


IT Security and its Evolution

Technology has advanced thanks to the hard work and innovation of many people over several decades throughout history. Although information technology – the application of any computers and software to process, store, retrieve, and transmit electronic data – is a major part of our lives today, there was a simpler time before the revolutionary spark of digitization. Few predicted how significant information technology and IT security would become in our lives and the way we conduct business. Here is an overview of the development of IT security throughout history.


The 1970s marked a time in information technology history that saw an emergence in the exploration of microcomputers. At this time, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak – pioneers of the personal computer revolution – met and eventually collaborated on what would become Apple computers. The first modern day hackers also appeared during this time and invented a way to circumvent phone systems to make free calls – a practice that later become known as “phreaking.” It was this decade that witnessed the convergence of technology and commerce. Computers, video games, cars, and space exploration are only a few of the many technologies which developed and improved tremendously within these ten years.


There are a surprising number of tech gadgets from the 80s that define life as we know it today. The first IBM personal computer, called “Acorn,” was introduced using Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system. Sears & Roebuck and Computerland sold the machines, and this was when the term PC was popularized.

Apple invented “Lisa,” the first personal computer to offer a GUI (graphical user interface), with features like a drop-down menu and icons in a machine aimed at individual business users. In 1985, Microsoft announced Windows in response to Apple’s GUI. This decade subsequently brought about the era of malware, with the first computer virus for MS-DOS called “Brian.”


Mosaic, known as the original web browser accredited to popularizing the World Wide Web, was released. By allowing users with little to no technical expertise to browse the online realm, this fueled a period of massive growth of the Internet as well as the community of online users. The 1990s also brought upon the dawn of the modern IT security industry. AOL suffered through the first real phishing attacks as hackers began stealing users’ credentials. Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at a high-energy physics lab in Geneva, invented HyperText Markup Language (HTML) – giving rise to the World Wide Web.

In 1997, Microsoft invested $150 million in Apple – which was struggling at the time – ending Apple’s court case against Microsoft in which it alleged that Microsoft copied the “look and feel” of its operating system.

The 2000s and Beyond

The 21st Century saw a swarm of new computer viruses, such as ILOVEYOU, spread fervently across the Internet, taking advantage of security holes in software made by Microsoft and other major tech companies. Adware and spyware entered the scene with programs such as Conducent and CometCursor. In 2003, the amount of data created surpassed the amount of all information created in the rest of human history combined. The Internet became so central to commerce that opportunities for hackers grew exponentially.

In 2010, a group of the nation’s top scientists concluded in a report to the Pentagon that “the cyber-universe is complex well beyond anyone’s understanding and exhibits behavior that no one predicted, and sometimes can’t even be explained well.” In 2015, Apple released the Apple Watch while Microsoft released Windows 10.

Military Technology

The Latest in Military Technology

The military has the best toys – things we could only imagine in our wildest dreams. The military creates, tests and deploys technology toys, from lucrative spy planes to robotic companions, the military is making astonishing advancements. Check out the latest in military technology we know about so far, and remember, these are only what they allow us to see.

Self-Steering Ammunition

Remember the days of Looney Tunes when the bullets maneuvered around corners to find their intended targets? Well, the military has employed a similar technology. Military snipers in war zones face challenging conditions that reduce visibility and make it difficult to hit moving targets, so DARPA created self-steering bullets, EXACTO, that increase target accuracy. The technology uses optical guidance to change the bullet’s intended course, regardless of poor visibility or interference.


The military has been playing with exoskeletons for a variety of functions. One of the newest exoskeleton technologies is the Army’s shot-stabilizing design. Sensors and a series of cables ensure the soldier’s arm is steady and ready to improve accuracy of every shot fired. The MAXFAS, Mobile Arm Exoskeleton for Firearm Aim Stabilization, senses trembling and steadies the shot, without restricting the soldier’s ability to move the arm and shoot at other targets. The device permits soldiers to shoot as far away as more than three football fields. The accuracy can save ammunition, improve response time and accuracy, and possibly save lives as well.

Cheetah Robot

Last month, MIT revealed the military-funded DARPA Cheetah robot. The robotics lab created a robotic companion that runs and jumps over hurdles. The Cheetah is capable of tackling multiple hurdles autonomously, and it can run while untethered. While running, the 70-lbs robotic Cheetah can scale 18-inch hurdles at 5 miles per hour, and the speed increases to 13 miles per hour when on a flat surface.

You may remember the robotic pack mule form 2012 that Boston Dynamics developed to carry combat gear for soldiers across rugged terrain, dense foliage and across long distances.

Artificial Limbs for Wounded Vets

The military is also concerned about the vets that make it home with debilitating injuries. DARPA is currently working on an artificial limbs project that would restore limb use to many vets who faced amputation on the battlefield. The HAPTIX project, Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces, is engineering a prosthesis that works directly with the body’s nervous system and the vet’s brain. Just as we use our brain to move and feel objects, so would vets who suffered limb-loss. A challenge with limb loss is phantom limb pain, and DARPA hopes to eliminate the pain and loss of use. The limb is designed to feel natural and to be worn at all times. The limb technology allows vets to live comfortable lives and others to return to service if they desire.


How Technology Makes For Safe Smartguns

There is a great divide when it comes to guns. After the devastating Newtown massacre that left 20 elementary students dead, the debate over gun control became heated, with a call for more safety. Gun enthusiasts argue that firearms are safe when the owner is properly trained, while those opposed feel we need stricter laws. Whether you’re anti-gun or a card carrying member of the NRA, there is one thing everyone can agree on: guns in the wrong hands make them exponentially more dangerous. It could be a child or criminal that makes the gun turn even more deadly because of lack of experience and malicious intentions, respectively. Smartguns may be the answer to increased firearm safety.

About Smartguns

The idea behind Smartgun technology is that the gun will only be able to fire if it is in the hands of the registered user. We’ve seen this innovation in movies, but the truth is that this technology exists. Grip pattern detection and biometrics can discern whether the person firing the gun is the registered owner, who are the only ones able to fire it.

An Irish company, TriggerSmart, has already patented a smartgun that has been deemed childproof. This weapon has a component on it that works in conjunction with a “safe zone” feature, created to be set up in schools. A force field is activated that disables any TriggerSmart gun that enters that safe zone. The founder of the company has been having difficulty getting people to buy into this idea.

More About Smartgun Technology

Since around 2000, New Jersey Institute of Technology has been one of the earliest developers of smartgun technology. They use Dynamic Grip Recognition, made up of 32 sensors in the grip. Much like voice recognition technology, the grip is trained to recognize a specific persons holding pattern profile, so it can decipher between users who are authorized or unauthorized to use the weapon.

The Debate

While the idea is well intentioned, smart guns have been met with much opposition. Owners who have guns in their home for self-defense argue that smartguns are not sufficient for protection. Experts on fingerprint readers and the like are well aware that these devices, built for convenience are not reliable enough to bet your life on their ability to work 100% of the time.

The technology, which involves a computer chip that is supposed to read a palm print, radio wave or other form of identification is having difficulty being made. When the gun is being used in an area close to gasses, gunpowder explosions and lead particles, there will be interference affecting how accurate the smartgun will work. There has also been the idea brought up that if the guns get too smart, could they get hacked into? Since the technology is not completely reliable, it has not been recommended yet for law enforcement, but rallied for in home use. Time will tell if we start to get smarter guns.