The 3rd party developers around the FastPokeMap creator have broken the latest encryption that blocked 3rd party apps from accessing Pokemon Go servers. They are close to bringing FastPokeMap back online.
The most popular real-time Pokemon Go tracker FastPokeMap will work again possibly on Saturday October 15. The team assembled by the developer behind FastPokeMap has reverse-engineered the new encryption that Niantic put in place on Friday, October 7. The new Pokemon Go API is now in testing and the creator of FastPokeMap just said on Twitter that they miss one piece to bring back the popular Pokemon map.
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Update: 10/17: FastPokeMap failed to relaunch on the weekend. Read the latest status of the effort making Pokemon Go trackers work again.
Update 10/16: The FastPokeMap team is making progress, but still has not reached the finish line on Sunday. The creator of FastPokeMap has just given an update on Discord: "We're making new progress, as we go further, we see that Niantic really went all in with their security + obufscation but nothing impossible to manage. Api will be public once reversed."
Looks like he has changed his mind about making the new Pokemon Go API. Initially he said to keep it private and only use it for FastPokeMap. By making it public, Pokemon bots and all other trackers and tools will be back accessing the Pokemon Go servers in real-time.
The FastPokeMap Twitter account will have updates about the progress throughout the day. The latest update says that the developers missing a single hash function and they can bring the FastPokeMap online again. To figure out the hash function could take from 10 minutes to 24 hours.
The FastPokeMap developer let slip a detail about how Niantic has encrypted the new signature. Niantic's security code is based on pseudorandom number generator (PRNG) algorithm used in old Pokemon games. Hacking Pokemon games is not a new thing. Years back Pokemon games for Nintendo consoles have been already the subject of hackers.
Soon millions of Pokemon Go trainers will be able to find Pokemon again in real-time. FastPokeMap will be more popular than ever when it comes back online as no other real-time Pokemon scanner will be working yet. The creator of FastPokeMap will not share the new Pokemon Go API with other developers unless he changes his mind.
He has taken the reverse engineering of the latest Niantic security measure into his own hands after the developer community did not respond. He offered as much as $10,000 for the developer finding the final key to the new encryption.
Another reason why he will not share the new code are bots. "One of the reason i want to avoid making the api public is to avoid tools like bots to come back," the FastPokeMap developer said in a tweet earlier this week. FPM is most likely granting select apps access to its real-time Pokemon spawn location data as they did in the past.
Whitelist_ip as he is known on reddit, was part of the original team that broke the first encryption that Niantic released in August. The developer gave a small glimpse into the reverse engineering effort on reddit last week. It shows the exact location of where the encryption takes place in the Pokemon Go app. The portion of the code is heavily obfuscated.
The breaking of the new encryption is not removing the Captcha security measure. Google's reCaptcha is still something FastPokeMap has to deal with. There are two ways to solve the Captcha issue. It is not clear yet how FastPokeMap will implement it. Either they pay a service like 2Captcha to solve the reCaptcha or users of FastPokeMap will be prompted to solve captchas while using the scanner.
Running 3rd party Pokemon Go apps has become rather elaborate. There will be less apps and services going forward despite the demand from trainers. Pokemon Go is not as popular anymore as it has been and is also not that big of money maker anymore, but there are still tens of millions playing the augmented reality game. Pokemon Go dropped to 5th place in the top grossing apps on iTunes amidst the release of the latest Pokemon Go updates 0.41.4 (Android) and 1.11.4 (iOS).
A Niantic employee said in a panel in Los Angeles that Pokemon Go is not fully released yet and that it is page 1 of chapter 1. This is promissing, if the trainers do not loose patients and quit the game. Niantic has still no release schedule for the in-app Pokemon tracker, which is considered basic functionality that is not in the app since three months. The Pokemon Go nearby tracker was part of the initial feature set, but has been removed because of scalability. Niantic is testing the nearby Pokemon tracker since weeks in San Francisco, but has not made any attempts to roll it out globally.