Since it was released about 12 days ago, Pokémon Go has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon. The online AR game has practically relegated all other tech news to the background. Maybe that is why the three-man hacker group, OurMine decided to piggyback on the giant frame of the game to gain more notoriety.
Over the weekend, Niantic, makers of the game rolled out the game to 26 more countries around the world but mostly in Europe. As was the case in previous rollouts, there were server issues as users rushed in to enjoy the game.
Most people thought the server issues were related to the number of users rushing in at once. But OurMine is claiming responsibility for this attack. The hackers posted the news in a short blog post titled, ‘ Pokémon Go Servers are down!’ with a message presumably directed at Niantic to contact them to resolve the problem I am sure.
By this act, OurMine are showing their real colors. Remember they are the same group that hacked the social accounts of several celebrities and VIPs like Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook; Sundar Pichai the CEO of Google and more recently the Twitter and Vine accounts of Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey.
At the time, OurMine tried to rebrand themselves as security consultants who are just trying to help people secure their accounts by showing them how it could be hacked easily. It is clear OurMine are not being taken seriously by the targeted group. So now they are going after anything that would make the world sit up and do business with them.
The logic of OurMine is simple and compelling: they break into people’s account to show them if they can do it, others with seriously bad intentions can do it too. So what better way to stop it from happening than by dealing with them?
And in the case of Pokémon Go hacking, another hacking group has claimed it attacked the game’s servers. The group known as PoodleCorp, claimed it initiated a huge Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against Pokémon Go’s servers.
This new group has a chilling message for Niantic and the world: it intends to shut down Pokémon Go on the 1st of August via another attack on the servers. Mark that date on your calendar. It is less than two weeks away.
According to Pokémon Go, the server issues experienced by the recent launch was fixed yesterday. So people in the 26 new countries can resume hunting for Pokémons earnestly.
Talking about the latest rollouts, I noticed there is no African country in the list. I expected a country like South Africa should have been in the latest rollouts. It is not as if they don’t have the requisite tech infrastructure there.
Sometimes, one begins to wonder if these foreign firms have a thing against Africa. I don’t see any reason at all why the game can be played in a troubled spot like Iraq but not in a single African Country. No reason at all.
But for now, I am consoling myself that Japan, the country everybody thought should have being in the first group of countries to have the game, is yet to experience a rollout. Though, Niantic is saying the game will be launched in Japan and South Korea very soon.
For now, the main issue is OurMine and other relentless hackers out there. I believe very soon, they would cross a dangerous line that would unleash the power of the various world security services on them. If they are not careful.
As far as l am concerned, they are the new online terrorists.
image credit: hypebeast.com; gizbot.com;