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.”