Govt advises officials to avoid downloading Pokemon Go

Published: October 21, 2016

The cyber security department has warned government officials against downloading/installing Pokemon Go, saying the game can “automatically turn the GPS/camera on and possibly records activities of surroundings.”

The department issued an advisory identifying a series of technical threats being posed by the augmented reality game. The leaked document also brought forth a “non-technical threat,” saying the “addictive nature” of the game could result in “serious injuries to unwary players.”

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Confirming the release of the document, a senior Cabinet Division official told The Express Tribune, “Such advisories are issued for regulatory security purposes.”

Interestingly, the game is not available in Pakistan, but players have been able to download it on their smartphones by switching their settings to that of a different country.

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Based on the video-game franchise of 1990s, Pokemon Go offers players with a real-world map where they hunt computer-generated creatures. Ever since its debut over the summer, the game has brought about $470 million of revenue and has been installed in phones over 550 million times, said global market intelligence firm Newzoo.

This isn’t the first time Pokemon Go has sparked security concerns, with the Israeli military banning troops from playing the game, fearing it might allow sensitive information to be leaked.

A copy of the leaked document can be viewed here:

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Bewildered
    Oct 22, 2016 - 12:28AM

    *“automatically turn the GPS/camera on and possibly records activities of surroundings.”*

    Anyone with some basic knowledge of digital security already knows this fact that not only this particular game but also the operating systems too can be used to do the same — Check Edward Snowden’s revelations. The reality is all these connected digital devices including computers, cell phones, and every other smart device can be turned into spying tools when needed by the likes of NSA, CIA, FBI, GCHQ, MOSSAD etc., etc. Several years ago I visited one of the Pak Army’s Core Headquarters to meet someone there. At the entrance, I was asked to remove the battery of my cell phone for reasons that it could be switched on secretly without my knowledge and the conversation be recorded and transmitted without ever knowing. Now I wonder, isn’t this realization by the GOP is little too late?Recommend

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