A new warning screen has been observed on October 19 2017, targeting players using location mocking and third party cheating apps to gain unfair advantage in Pokémon GO.
Dubbed as the “Black screen of Death”, the warning screen prevents app login until the offending app is removed from the device. The detection mechanism is a blacklist based algorithm, targeting popular location mocking apps. Currently operational only on Android.
Effects and consequences
Although this security measure hasn’t completely stopped spoofing in Pokémon GO, it managed to knock out several high profile location mocking apps on Android. In addition, it enabled Niantic to blacklist any number of cheating apps in the future.
Disabling the aforementioned popular location mocking apps, forced offending players to use other less reliable and easily detectable apps, resulting in an noticeable decline in spoofing activity.
It has been reported that the warning screen is also triggered by using a third party IV checker.
History and further development
The full history of the blacklist warning screen is as follows:
- On October 15 2017, Pokémon GO version 0.79.2 goes live and data mining reports indicate that a new security feature has been added, called “Blacklisted App”
- On October 18 2017, GO Hub discovers that the client app (version 0.79.2) is downloading a new bundle of text, including the strings required to display this warning screen.
- On October 19 2017, Niantic officially announces the Halloween 2017 event, silently activating the blacklisted app security feature.
Blacklist Warning screen text
“We have detected software that can interfere with the operation of Pokémon GO on your device. This includes applications that falsify your location. Using unauthorized software that directly impacts Pokémon GO is a violation of Niantic’s Terms of Service and can result in the loss of your account. You will need to uninstall any such applications in order to continue gameplay.