A Pokemon Go malware app was downloaded by half a million people

Pikachu does not approve
Pikachu does not approve

In excess of half a million people have downloaded a Pokemon Go guide for Android that installed malware that could allow access to the phone.

Now that Niantic's smash hit augmented reality mobile game is available worldwide, those seeking to do harm have turned to guide apps in order to lure unsuspecting Pokemon trainers into infecting their own phones.

Anti-virus giant Kaspersky Labs highlighted the issue, and explained that the Trojan disguised in the app was a fairly sophisticated bit of software that had infected at least 6,000 phones.

"It doesn't start as soon as the victim launches the app. Instead, it waits for the user to install or uninstall another app, and then checks to see whether that app runs on a real device or on a virtual machine," explained Kaspersky

Trojan phone home

After finding out you are indeed using a phone the Trojan will actually wait a couple of hours before communicating with its 'home' server and then only proceed after getting a call to action back.

"This approach means that the control server can stop the attack from proceeding if it wants to - skipping those users it does not wish to target, or those which it suspects are a sandbox/virtual machine, for example. This provides an additional layer of protection for the malware."

In the world of Black Hats it seems you don't have to catch them all, but by spreading the net wide you can bag yourself a scarily large selection of nasties.

Here's how to download and play Pokemon Go and if you need some help - instead of downloading dodgy guides - check our our Pokemon Go tips

Via Digital Trends

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.