As an IP, Pokemon is forever under the watchful eye of not only Nintendo, but its other fellow members of The Pokemon Company. So if you see someone else trying to use the name, you can be sure it’s a fake that may or may not be used for malicious means. The most recent example is cybercriminals making use of a fake Pokemon NFT card game to try to get victims to install a remote access tool.
According to South Korea’s cybersecurity firm Ahnlab and its Emergency Response Centre (ASEC), these cybercriminals attempt to get victims to install what’s known as the NetSupport Manager. This is a remote control tool that, as the description suggests, allows one to remotely control another PC that has the software installed. The slight irony is that NetSupport Manager is a legit piece software, which threat actors take advantage of since this allows it to more easily evade security programs.
The fake Pokemon NFT card game site itself is pretty well made, complete with some relatively recent cards being animated. Though eagle-eyed fans of the franchise will be able to spot a few red flags. One is the font in which the word “Pokemon” is written. The other are the poorly done raid battle bosses, which are not a thing in the Pokemon TGC. These cards make use of the official cards that they are named after, with one card’s art obviously flipped horizontally. Then there’s the poorly added attacks onto these cards, which obviously don’t fit the other examples on the page.
Overall though, diehard fans of the Pokemon franchise should be able to spot the grift from a mile away. But those whose only exposure to the franchise is the Pokemon Go mobile game, as well as those who are still chasing the NFT trend, it’s not inconceivable that they would end up being a victim of this malicious use of the IP.