This season’s fave pick among gamers, Flappy Bird has rather given us reason for gloom. Despite having flown away from the app stores, Flappy Bird has left behind a tremendous share of malware. Sophos, a security firm says that unofficial Android sites are breeding ground for the Flappy Birds malware. None of these sites is authentic or even official. Once you actually download either of these, your devices are hit with software that is malicious.
Dating back to 2013, the game seems to have found popularity only posthumously. Its popularity soared to heights that saw a top rank on iTunes and Play Store. With the game now off from the market, spammers and malware creators are trying to dig in their share of money with duplicate versions.
A MacAfee report has said that around 79% of all Flappy Bird clones in its sample were found to be malicious. In a research that examined a total of 300 Flappy Birds clones, 238 were reported to have contained malware. The report raised concerns on the massive number of downloads gamers were still downloading clones that simply turned out to be flapping bird malware upon investigation.
Notably, the malware even allowed hackers to remotely use the victims’ phones to make calls, track their GPS location and steal info such as contacts from their phones. In a few circumstances, the malware also allowed the attacking hackers a complete and uninhibited control over the users’ phones.
Cybersecurity experts warned smartphone users from trusting such unknown websites and apps, knowingly compromising their online safety to get what they are looking for. Vincent Weafer, Senior Vice President, McAfee Labs asserts, “Developers must become more vigilant with the controls they build into these apps, and users must be more mindful of what permissions they grant.”