Fraud Prevention

You’re Going Too Fast: Pokémon Go Exposes Flaw in AR Game Defenses

June, 13, 20191 min Read

Today people have started seeing this message in Pokemon Go: “You’re going too fast! Pokemon Go should not be played while driving”.

This matches a prediction we made previously, that as Niantic tries to limit the damage done by bots, they will start to monitor and challenge users who have a particular suspicious behavior pattern. But in the play experience of us and others, this appears as a false positive: we were playing the game normally. It’s impossible to draw a sharp line like this without mis-categorizing either bots or humans. This illustrates the point made in our earlier post about how game developers need to use FunCaptcha techniques to avoid the binary separation of users into totally permitted and totally prohibited, filling in the gap between those extremes with FunCaptcha. Niantic briefly stopped bots by encrypting its API. However, as we predicted, unfortunately this brought only temporary relief and now the bots are back. This Ars Technica article has a good summary of that.