Initial take of Pokemon Go tracker developer about Niantic's "Minor Bot Fixes" is " it's pretty much game over for botters and trackers."
Niantic may have finally found the antidote to Pokemon Go bots and other 3rd party Pokemon Go software including Pokemon trackers, maps, IV tools and others. Niantic announced the new Pokemon Go app updates 0.35.0 (Android) and 1.5.0 (iOS). There is only one new feature with Pokemon Appraisal. The biggest change is though hidden behind what Niantic describes sarcastically in the release notes as "minor bot fixes."
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The developer behind FastPokeMap says after taking a first look at the new security measure introduced by Niantic: "I'm not done analyzing but from what I've seen it's pretty much game over for botters and trackers."
The new security measure introduced with new Pokemon Go app updates include an in-game captcha that pops up as soon as it detects abnormal activities. In addition to the Captcha, the Unknown6 (UK6) digital signature has changed as well.
Decoding Unknown6 has taken the 3rd party developers about two days to circumvent, but then there is still the Captcha to deal with, which might proof to be impossible. We have not seen the Captcha yet. Depending what Niantic is using, it might be unbreakable. Pokemon Go bots and trackers would need to behave in a way to not trigger the Captcha, which might as well turn out to be not efficient.
The FastPokeMap developer used a man in the middle setup (MITM) to get a snap of the Captcha. It's Google's reCaptcha technology.
Update: We just heard from the developer. He injected the reCaptcha just as an example. He has not seen the final Captcha yet that Niantic will use. Niantic can place any HTML code in the spotted location. It could be reCaptcha, given the close relationship of Niantic with Google.
Update 3: Seriously Niantic, a puppy cookie captcha? The FastPokeMap developer posted the Captcha Niantic is using if something appears to be fishy. It's though just a joke. We still have not seen the new Pokemon Go Captcha.
Update 4: The iOS update of the Pokemon Go app has been released now too. So far Pokemon Go trackers and bots appear to be still working. It is not clear at the moment if Niantic has fully activated the new "Minor Bot Fixes" included in the latest Pokemon Go app releases. The FastPokeMap developer is added code to his server to act on Captchas if they occur.
Update 5: Niantic has still not pulled the trigger on the Captcha security feature as Pokemon Go maps, trackers and even Pokemon GO bots are all still fully operational. The popular and super easy to use Insta-PokeGo bot has shut down not because of Niantic security update. The team has other priorities. They all go to Burning Man 2016.
You will have seen it before. The Captcha asks "I'm not a robot." While Google's Captcha looks simple to the user. He just has to click to make a checkmark, there is a ton of stuff going on in the background.
The reCaptcha Advanced Risk Analysis backend actively considers a user’s entire engagement with the CAPTCHA—before, during, and after—to determine whether that user is a human. This enables Google to rely less on typing distorted text and, in turn, offer a better experience for users. In case the risk analysis is unsure, the system presents a full Captcha that requires to decode an image.
Update 2: A developer spotted the code for the Captcha in the new Android release of the Pokemon Go app. The code snipped posted here shows a definition of the CaptureService class in the Niantic.Holoholo.Captcha namespace.
The FastPokeMap developer calls out the end of his popular real-time Pokemon Go tracker on Twitter. "R.I.P. As soon as your game forces you to update to 0.35, this site will stop working." He leaves the door open that their might be a way around the new security measures. "Enjoy it while it's up, can't guarantee it'll come back once the new security measure are activated."
You will see all Pokemon Go bots and Pokemon Go trackers, finders and notifiers stop working over the next couple of hours. If the 3rd party developer community on GitHub can once again find a fix to the new Pokemon Go security fix is doubtful, but we will keep tracking the situation. The big outcry is still to come as the rollout of the new app updates has not fully completed yet. The new Android version 0.35.0 is out in the Google Play store, but the iOS Pokemon Go app update 1.5.0 has not been released yet.