The creator of Pokémon Go, Niantic Labs, has a new way to block people from using bots and third-party trackers to get ahead in the game.
Hackers have combed through the game’s most recent update and found new references to captchas, which are commonly used on the web to thwart bots and spammers.
While Niantic doesn’t appear to have started using captchas to catch cheaters yet, one Pokémon Go bot creator told Business Insider that it’s only a matter of time before bots and other unofficial hacks stop working.
“This will be really tough to crack,” said Steven Bartell, who helped created an advanced bot called Insta-PokéGo that has been used to catch 3.3 million Pokémon in less than a week. Bartell said the Insta-PokéGo website will be shut down on Wednesday to keep people who have used the tool from getting banned.
The creator of FastPokeMap, a popular website that shows where Pokémon spawn on a map, recently tweeted that the site may be shut down as well due to the game’s new security measures:
Steven Bartell of Insta-PokéGo said that, while the introduction of captchas will most certainly keep bots like his from working, the fate of trackers like FastPokeMap is uncertain.
“No one is sure whether mapping trackers will be affected because it really depends on how Niantic deploys the captcha,” he said. “If they only use it when players spin a Pokéstop or try to catch a Pokémon, maps could be fine. If they are smarter about it and deploy the captcha when they see any sort of suspicious behavior, the maps could be in trouble too.”
Niantic was not immediately available for comment.