It takes an army to conquer a continent, but it only takes one Pokémon GO player to get an entire country banned from the game.
The use of “bot programs” in Pokémon GO has become a hot topic and one of the main reasons behind the permanent bans Niantic are currently dishing out. Instead of normal banning, Niantic is targeting the IPs of players taking advantage in the game, allowing them to log in, but not enter Gyms, PokéStops, etc.
Recently, a Redditor on /r/pokemongodev, decided to test the IP banning mechanic by using several burner SIM cards to launch simultaneous scans Pokémon GO servers. All the scans were sourced back to one National IP used by Proximus, Belgium’s largest cell phone service provider.
The intrusion was picked up by Niantic and a ban was issued shortly after. However, given that it was a national IP, every user in Belgium that used Proximus was also locked out, with mobile data made useless. It’s most likely the national IP address was overlooked at the time.
Some time after the ban was issued, the Redditor that behind the test said he never went through with the server scan and that Niantic banned the IP pre-emptively.
Niantic will need to make sure security measures for Pokémon GO are sound, but also fair to players who might get caught in the crossfires when banning.
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