CYBER NEWS

Pokemon Go App Hacks Android

guide-for-pokemon-go-malware-sensorstechforumA suspicious app, named Guide for Pokemon Go, pretending to be a guide with professional tips for players of the widely used Pokemon Go app has been detected to install ad-supported applications and even root the devices it affects.

The add-supported application has somehow managed to slip into the Google Play Store, bypassing it’s security checks. Users begun downloading the app and the ones who installed it on their Android devices weren’t little as well – more than 500 000 downloads.

Researchers from Kaspersky claim that the over 6000 users who have downloaded the app were victims of unauthorized root access to their devices.

Another Similar App Slithers The Same Malware

Not only this, but there was also other application, more importantly an actual mobile Trojan Horse that managed to infect users with a similar app. Since the Trojan is the same, malware researchers believe that the very same malware developer is behind both attacks.

The other app was not as big as this one and after being installed on approximately 10000 Android devices, it was detected and removed.

Malware Analysis Results

According to malware researchers at Kaspersky, the application, which they dubbed Trojan.AndroidOS.Ztorg.ad is reported to be a sophisticated virus tof the ad-supported type. The virus was developed in a difficult manner and malware researchers also report having multiple difficulties while trying to reverse engineer it and see what exactly it does.

From what is known so far, the Pokemon Go Guide virus uses an app which was made to obfuscate a code by encrypting it and hence hide it’s activity. In addition to that, after an infection has commenced, the virus does not necessarily contact it’s command and control servers.

Not only this, but the Pokemon Go virus is intelligent as well. It will not install itself unless it detects a manual action from the user, such as installing and app on the SD memory, detecting that the app is not installed on a virtual machine.

Getting Rid of Guide for Pokemon Go App

The bottom line for this application is that even if it was in fact detected and prevented by the Google Play security team, many of the users have downloaded it. So if you have it, we strongly advise you to follow the instructions below and reset your Android device to get it rid of this program.

1. Back up the data on your device

Back up the data on your phone

CAUTION! Before attempting any removals and drive formatting on your device, you should know that it is essential to save all your important contacts and files from your phone. There are several methods to backup your files:

Method I: Using online backup software or a memory card if the device supports it.

Method II: Connecting to another device and copying the data directly.

This is a bit risky option since the device may have malware on it. This is why, first you need to enter the device’s Safe Mode:

For RAZR Droid Devices:

1.Switch off the smartphone and remove the battery for a few seconds then plug it back in.

2.Switch the phone on.

3.You should see a Motorola Dual Core screen appearing. You should press and hold the Volume up, and Volume Down keys on the side of the smartphone. Hold them until the lock screen shows up with ‘Safe Mode’ written in the lower corner.

For HTC Devices:

1.Switch off the smartphone and remove the battery for a few seconds then plug it back in.

2.Turn on your phone while simultaneously holding down the Menu Button. When it starts, keep pressing the Menu Button until you see ‘Safe Mode’ menu appearing in the lower corner.

For Nexus devices:

1.Switch off the smartphone and remove the battery for a few seconds then plug it back in.
2.Turn on the phone.
3.When the welcome Logo Screen shows up, hold the trackball while pressing it until a lock screen shows up, or you see ‘Safe Mode’ written in the bottom corner.

For Other Motorola Devices:

1.Switch off the smartphone and remove the battery for a few seconds then plug it back in.
2.Hold down the Menu Button after you press it while turning on the phone. When it boots, hold the button down upon seeing the lock screen or feeling the phone vibrate.

For Moto G Devices:
1.Press the Power Button and hold it on until the list with options pop-up.
2.Hold the Power off button and wait for a ‘Reboot to Safe Mode’ option to appear.
3.Tap it and let the phone reset.

For Samsung Galaxy Devices:

1.While the device is on, hold down the Power Button and wait for the Options List.
2.Wait for a ‘Restart to Safe Mode’ option to appear.
3.Choose this setting. The device will restart.

For Apple Devices:

1. While your device is locked, hold down the Power Button and the Home Button until you see a white Apple logo.
2. Once you see the logo, let go from those buttons and start holding the Volume Up button. (Give it a little time to boot up)
3. Now the phone should boot in Safe Mode without any third-parties running.

And now it is time to proceed by doing the actual backup:

Apple iOS

1. Connect your device and select it in iTunes.
2. From the Backups section go to Manually Back Up and Restore and tap on Back Up Now.

Android

1. Connect your device via USB to a computer and select Use as a Media Device. You may also see use as file transfer option.
2. Go to your phone from My Computer and copy all the files you need.
3. If the phone has an option to install its drivers onto your computer, select it and install them since this will simplify the process of copying your contact list on your computer.

2. Hard-reset your device and remove Pokemon Go Malware

Hard-Reset Your Smartphone

For Apple iPhone and iPad Devices:

Option I: Via the device

1.Back up your data using iCloud or another backup method.
2. Go to the Settings menu and go to General.
3. On the bottom, tap on Reset.
4. Tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
5. Confirm it by tapping on the red Erase button and then type your password.

Option II: Via iTunes

1. Connect your device and open iTunes.
2. Click on the device‘s name and model to open the dialog box.
3. From there, click on the button “Restore”

For Android Devices:

After you have backed up your files, you should perform a clean wipe-out of your phone. This can happen either via one of the options in Safe Mode or by entering your device’s Recovery Mode. Several methods exist in order to enter Recovery Mode of your device:

reboot-system

For Nexus Devices: – Hold the Volume Down + Volume Up + Power button until a Recovery menu appears. After that, you should select the Wipe Data/Factory reset option. Nexus 4 may work with Volume Up + Power + Volume Down.

For Samsung Devices: – Hold the Volume Up + Power Button + Home Button until a Recovery menu appears. After that, you should select the Wipe Data/Factory reset option.

For Motorola Droid X Devices: Hold the Home Button + Power Button until a Recovery menu appears. After that, you should select the Wipe Data/Factory reset setting.

For other devices with camera buttons on them: Hold the Volume Up + Camera Button until a Recovery Menu appears. After this, you should choose the Wipe Data/Factory reset option.

Also in case you have backed up your device in a Google Account, you will be able to restore your data after a complete wipe-out by just logging into your Google Account with you email and password.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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