When the hit game Flappy Bird was taken down by its creator a few days ago,? malware creators found a reason to exploit and deceive unsuspecting users.
There are apparently a lot of applications in third-party Android app marketplaces today that are claiming to be Flappy?Bird. These games contain malware that do not only harm the device, but also deceive the users by sending text messages to a given number and potentially exploit them.
A security firm, Trend Micro,?said that it has discovered “a bunch of fake Android Flappy Bird apps spreading online.” All the apps it has discovered so far are “apps that send messages to premium numbers, thus causing unwanted changes to victims’ phone billing statements.”?The infected apps are quickly spreading in alternative Russian and Vietnamese app markets.?
Naked Security, a security blog, has revealed that there are similar scams that try to trick users into messaging premium numbers. These messages inform users that their “free trial has expired,” and that they need to activate the full version to continue playing via text message.
“Remember that the original?Flappy Bird?was free, with no trial period or money to pay: The author made his money through ads presented by the game, not by selling the app,” the blog said. This statement makes a lot of sense because?Dong Nguyen, Flappy?Bird’s creator, did not sell the game in the first place. So why would third-party marketplaces sell them?
The game has become a hot issue in the mobile world after the game soared to popularity and was taken down by Nguyen. This was what probably gave malware creators the outlet they needed to take advantage of users who didn’t have a chance to try out the game and want to see what all the hype is about.
Android users must protect themselves by being extra cautious when downloading apps from alternative Android stores. It is, of course, always a must to?install security or anti-virus software on devices.?If it is possible at all, Android users must avoid downloading apps from?third-party marketplaces. ?It is always much safer to buy from the Google Play Store.