Fake Pokémon Go apps have reportedly hit an astounding 10 million downloads from unsuspecting users all around the globe.
While devices running on Android were always the ones particularly vulnerable to fake application downloads — this time, it appears — devices running on iOS platforms have fallen prey to counterfeit applications as well.
Most fake apps making their rounds on the internet usually pose as one of the most popular applications for mobile devices today.
Hardly any of them, however, find any success in getting users of iOS devices to download them.
This is mainly due to the fact that users of devices running on iOS mostly download applications directly from the device’s App Store — a security precaution that Apple has somewhat implemented successfully.
But with the rising popularity of blockbuster hit games like Niantic’s Pokémon Go, also comes the rising popularity of fake apps that pose grave danger to both Android and iOS devices.
According to a new research by a security firm called Trend Micro, at least two of the most popular third-party app stores have already found success in getting iOS users to download fake Pokémon Go apps.
These fake apps are reportedly laced with a legion of unwanted adds, as well as other possibly sinister features that many spam applications usually come with.
Trend Micro identified two leading third-party app stores responsible for millions of downloads of the fake Pokémon Go apps — Vietnam-based HiStore and China-based Haima.
The firm estimates fake Pokémon Go downloads on HiStore to be somewhere around 10 million, while downloads of the same fake application on Haima is estimated at millions.
Fake versions of other popular applications are also available for download in both third-party app stores as well as others of similar nature.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are just some of the popular apps whose fake versions are downloadable on third-party app stores for both iOS and Android.
According to Trend Micro, however, the fake app with the most downloads is Minecraft’s counterfeit version — which currently stands at 68 million.
Security firms attribute the increasing popularity of fake applications in iOS platforms to minor loopholes in Apple’s Developer Enterprise Program policies.
While Apple has always been vigilant in keeping its App Store free of suspicious applications, sinister developers seem to find it easy to just simply keep on creating Developer Enterprise accounts whenever their certificates are revoked by Apple.
After all, acquiring a new Developer Enterprise certificate only costs $299.
As the number of users falling prey to harmful counterfeit applications continuously increase, users are advised to be vigilant and to download applications only from Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play services.