Niantic Breaks Pokemon Go API, All Bots And Trackers Stopped Working

Posted: Aug 4 2016, 4:31am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 7 2016, 5:05pm CDT, in Technology News


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Niantic Breaks Pokemon Go API, All Bots and Trackers Stopped Working
Pokemon Go API Unknown6 Fix by Mila432

Niantic has changed the way the Pokemon Go app communicates with Pokemon Go servers, breaking the so called Pokemon Go APIs.

Niantic scared off developers of the so called Pokemon Go APIs with legal letters over the weekend. Now the second step of the shut down of unauthorized third party Pokemon Go apps is underway. Niantic changed the way the Pokemon Go app communicates with the Pokemon Go servers, breaking the Pokemon Go APIs.

Pokemon Go trackers and bots are based on an reverse engineered library of APIs. The developers of these tools, who are not slammed by a cease and desist letter like Pokevision, are scrambling to update the Pokemon Go APIs to make them work again.

Famous Pokemon GO API developer Mila432 has already found a way to make his Pokemon Go API work again, but he got hit by a cease and desist letter and will not share his fix. Niantic definitely has to hire this guy. If Mila432 has found a solution, it is only a matter of time another developer will find a workaround too. Mila432 has published a video as proof that he found the solution to the new security measure Niantic has implemented. Watch below.

Other developers try to convince Vasily aka Mila432, who is a computer science student located in Penza, Russia, to share his solution. They argue that he is safe in Russia from Niantic's lawyers. It is not just the lawyers though. He is also against the use of his Pokemon GO API in bots and the whole shady business of selling Pokemon Go accounts made with bots. As said above, Niantic needs to get him an H1B now or open a developer office in Penza. The city is located 625 kilometers southeast of Moscow.

Niantic has added some sort of digital signature to the communication between the Pokemon Go app and the Pokemon Go servers. The so called "unknown6" key is what developers are trying now to replicate. They are scanning through the app code of the latest Pokemon Go app release to find out how the app is generating "unknown6."

This "unknown6" field has been in present in the app before. Now something on the server has activated the use of it.

If your favorite Pokemon Go tracker or Pokemon Go bot is not working, you will have to wait until the developers of the underlying Pokemon GO APIs will find a fix. That fix might be short-lived as Niantic is likely able to change the digital key anytime.

This security measure was inevitable. Niantic needs to protect its server infrastructure. While Pokemon Go trackers are useful, PokeBots that automate game play are cheating tools. The open access to the Pokemon Go servers also invites hackers to come up with sophisticated attacks. Any cloud service is using digital security and encryption for communications between clients and servers.

Niantic has over 100 million users on the Pokemon Go platform. Digital security is an obvious requirement. Eventually Niantic will release an official API to developers to build added-value apps, but that's likely still far out. Niantic said in its latest communication to focus now on the roll out to the rest of the world.

This technical change is likely the end of the community driven Pokemon Go coding that evolved dramatically fast on Github since the launch of Pokemon Go early July. It now depends if this is going to be a cat and mouse game between Niantic and the Pokemon Go developer community or if Niantic can curb the unauthorized access to a minimum.

Update 3:
The Pokemon Go hackers succeeded in finding a fix for the Signature security Niantic introduced. A working code has been published on Github. Now Pokemon Tracker and bot maker will use that new Pokemon Go API to fix their apps. Niantic will change the Pokemon Go servers in case the queries increase again too much.

Update 2:
50 hours after the introduction of a digital signature the 3rd party developer community has still not cracked the code to enable their Pokemon Go trackers and bots. Turns out the change Niantic made is more complicated than just a single digital code. Unknown6 turns out to be several "Unknowns." The digital signature take the current position and other data into account. Developers are still struggling to find out how the digital codes are calculated.

Update: Niantic explains why the company has blocked the 3rd party Pokemon Go trackers by breaking the Pokemon Go APIs. The company has also made clear it will keep blocking 3rd party tools, even if developers find a way to fix unknown6.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]




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