Niantic’s latest security measure introduced “rare blinding” for suspicious accounts. The security measure prevents certain accounts from seeing any rare spawns in the wild.

Although controversial, the security measure proved wildly successful, as it induced a large amount of panic and disarray in the botting and tracking community. Multiple malicious platforms (account sellers and bot providers) announced a temporary inability to provide high level botted accounts!

And while the legitimate player base is, mostly, celebrating the new security update, others do not share their excitement.

The developers of RocketMap, one of the most popular tracking solutions for Pokémon GO announced the following today:

@everyone Small update on the recent Niantic blinding changes. At this stage, we’re still investigating the details of what triggers it.

This can be a somewhat long and difficult process, but it’s necessary in order to be able to implement an actual fix rather than some band-aid solutions that make it more sporadic but that don’t fix it for anyone. In order not to make y’all wait without being able to scan, we’re working on a first (temporary) approach.

This first approach is to soften the effect on your accounts so you can continue scanning for at least the next few days while we work on some code implementations. To make sure we’re not missing anything, I’d like to ask everyone affected – and who has tried something to make it work again – to fill in this form about your scan setup:

https://goo.gl/forms/WaxXMMUtP40XyPty2

The form is aimed specifically at getting test results to use on top of what we have seen in our private tests. Thanks :heart:

In order to learn more about the effect of this measure, we reached out to a number of “informants” that are tightly connected to several third party developers.

Our sources have confirmed the following:

  • Third party developers have no idea how the new security measure works
  • Although the exact number of blinded accounts is impossible to determine, early estimates range from tens to hundreds of thousands.
  • Blinded accounts were created in the past 3-6 months, indicating that Niantic has been collecting the data for quite a while
  • Although unverified, the word on the street is that machine learning has finally been employed — a number of “looking legitimate” bot accounts are still not blinded
  • Not everyone has the same experience, with some botters claiming zero accounts blinded, and others reporting complete annihilation of their account farm

Unfortunately, some users have already managed to create workarounds to filter out flagged accounts:

All in all, it seems that Niantic’s new security measure was very successful. Although bots are trying to regroup and rebuild their account farms, it’s going very slowly.

  • Josh Hack

    Just stop trying niantic. You won’t win.

    • Kevin Stratigis

      They could. If they just made their own tracking map ..

    • GonzoI

      It’s a question of resource impact. Intrusion is hard to fight because the intruders are many, looking for many holes in a system with a reasonably static interface. Building unauthorized third party apps, though, is on the losing side because the goalpost can be moved to make much of their codebase useless with no warning.

  • Ekdale

    My very real account, on which I have spent a fair amount of time and money, got blinded. I have been going back and forth with Niantic, who insists my account is fine, all day. Not sure what that means, but it really sucks to have it happen during this event.

  • Mike

    So what happens in the future to “legit” accounts with like, say, 500+ Snorlax candies?

    • SandroCusiPoGo

      I agree, Still a lot account already have what they need to control every single gym in their area ! Flagged accounts should be blocked from gyms which is when spoofers hurt legit players.

  • Tim

    Yea my legit account has also gotten blinded and have also been going back and forth with them, they also assure me everything will be fine, so now what I have to wait 2 weeks till I can see anything other than common Pokémon!!! The account I’ve had since July is flagged for 3rd party??? Unless their go plus is causing it not quite sure what it could be

    • Nana Sebastian

      how to check if ur id got blinded by niantic?

  • Phalguni Sakha Swain

    The main way to improve the experience of legitimate players is preventing the spoofers from stacking in every single gym. That’s the only way they ruin the game for the rest of the world.

    • Aron Sunrain

      Indeed, that’s the only real problem. Who cares about those people as long as they have to WALK to conquer the gyms…

  • Dev’s Channel

    Dear Niantic, My account got soft ban because I hacked the game….Right?……….But you guys won’t understand why I hacked the game…..It is because there were no pokestops or Pokemon nests in my area…..To at least catch a ratatta or Pidgy, I should walk atleaste 1 or 2 KM! That’s not fare….I spent more than $100 or about ₹6500 On Playing Pokemon go and the results are just waste……..Please don’t do this to me….

  • Robert Byrne

    Just lost the mock GPS recently. Had played legitimately up to about level 27 and now am level 31. Wasn’t s fan of the idea of cheating somewhat but after using it I find this other way very teedious. There is nothing but the usual sentret and piggy and these rubbish Pokemon where I am all day. Like most people I am in work for between 8 and 11 hrs including traveling so time to go out walking for an hr or two when I get home is almost impossible and also the battery life on phones is only so good and I am using a Samsung s7 so it’s not that I need an upgrade. At the end of the day it’s only a game and people should be allowed to play any way they see fit. So what if some have Pokemon in 40 gyms ye can only collect 10 coins a day anyways. If everybody had the option to them of going where ever they see fit without having to walk around like a wally to get that larvitar down the road only for the phone to say connection error when u get down to it I believe it would make the game better. If someone has control of all the gyms in it area u could go somewhere else no problem. And I understand why someone wouldn’t take on a level 10 gym and the answer is simple. Revives are not near as plentyfull as pokeballs and especially if u had to walk down to a gym try to battle for 2 hrs to drop the prestige level only for your location to shift or get a connection error or it battery dying plus it going through revives and potions by the dozen so it’s much easier to move abouts and see a gym with the same colour. Battle up the prestige level and join. Makes sense.

  • Slappy

    Niantic wants to stop trackers? Then make your own, charge a monthly fee for it and let people scan wherever they want, either that or fix the ingame tracker that’s there… those of you who hav’nt used a tracker let me tell you this, you have no clue about how much rares spawn that noone will ever find thanks to the fact that they are out of reach for pokestops and the sightings is crowded with pidgeys and other crap….

    • Benjamin Moody

      Exactly! I loved using RocketMap! With that scanner, I knew if there was anything amazing near my house that I would DRIVE OR WALK to to get, not spoof. For instance, I found a Togetic a couple days ago, a Meganium, Ninetails, a Snorlax and a Dragonite (that I unfortunately didn’t get because it was in the middle of no where xD). If Niantic would focus their efforts on producing a decent tracker, they wouldn’t have to deal with these 3rd party trackers. IMHO, I truly believe that (at least until there’s a REAL tracker in the game) that using scanners without spoofing or botting (automatically catching), is in NO WAY cheating. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b146fc57c3e93798114892f5aad5163abf2033774e055c6f6c8e79938ebcdfc3.jpg

  • Joe1407

    Dito Robert Byrne, at Level 34 I found out what a cost saver on gas, and I was not so mad that I could not travel far and wide to catch the rare ones. Reginal, Unknowns, Ect, are now obtainable with a little help. Let me play as I want.

  • Robert Byrne

    That’s the thing Joe1407. I have played the game since it’s out and I have now tried it both ways. If people have all the time in the world to walk around all day or travel the length and breadth of the country then fair play to them but for most of us it’s out of reach. For example I was in the zoo a couple of weeks back. Had the game on for a couple of mins while having a picnic and seen a Pokemon over the other side. I can hardly say to the missus I’m off on my poke quest I seen something over there you keep the kids I’m off plus it’s not practical to walk around half the day wherever your going with eyes on the phone. Hence stick on the mock location from where u are. Send the little lad over and carry on with life as normal. It is only a game after all. And in reference to some who say others have 400 snorlax or blissey well to them I say so what again. Only 10 can go into gyms. Not as if u can swap the poke coins for real cash and for the record I still don’t even have my own blissey or tranitar yet. That for me was one of the good aspects of the game trying to get a good one a wonder for my own but with no possibility of finding one around my job or home that has 4 pokestops I may forget about it and waiting until someone makes a new app of some sort cause the game has no meaning if all I’m doing is collecting candies from piggys and whatever and moving my experience level up. Drab.

  • The Realist

    An interesting tack has not been brought up yet. The battle between Niantic and spoofers, at its heart, is essentially the same battle between hackers and software developers and security experts. If experience has shown us anything, it is that this is a never ending game. One block leads to solution, which leads to a new block ad infinitum – or at least until the sun burns out. But history also shows us some common features of this general process/game. THE COSTS GO UP – this is the key. One must continually keep investing in better talent and also using more resources to keep playing the game. That is why, most of the time, major computer hacks are often funded by some countries’ governments. What will likely happen is that as this game goes on, companies or organizations will need to increasingly spend more money to keep playing – which in turn will pass the costs, at least in part, onto their customers. So as the spoofed packages and boosts increase in price, fewer people will be willing to buy them and fewer, smaller operations will be able to continue. Slowly with increasing costs and moral appeals to the community, these problems will decrease. But you can never hope to completely rid the game of spoofing – only minimize it. To think that you can completely stop all extremely intelligent and motivated operators is to slight history and human potential. Many examples fly in the face of this naive view – Mark Zuckerberg and a near endless list of others who did what they had to beat the contemporary status quo and mindset. But, the good news is that as these events unfold, we can expect fewer and fewer spoofers, until we hopefully dramatically reduce their numbers.

  • Michal X

    My Two frineds one is lv35 (Instinct) and other is lv40(Mystic) , both LEGIT got flagged and they r no cheaters, meantime guys from valor r going around making stupid blissey gyms with bubblestrat and logging to multiple accounts , wheres justice here ?
    BanAllCheaters , lv 38 , Instinct , Warsaw Poland
    Niantic U r doing smth wrong