Huffpost Technology

Fake Angry Birds Strikes Android Users With Malware

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It's a trap!

On Thursday, Sophos reported that a malware-packed fake version of Angry Birds Space had "been placed in unofficial Android app stores," potentially placing millions of Android users at risk.

On Friday, Mashable reported that the malicious software masquerading as "Angry Birds Space," the latest installment in Rovio's uber-popular mobile game franchise, had infiltrated the Google Play app store, but that the "official version of Angry Birds Space in Google Play [was] not affected."

The Huffington Post on Friday contacted a Google spokesman, who said that Google Play was not compromised by malware, and that Google does not control third party content, such as unofficial app stores. HuffPost found that as of press time, three versions of Angry Birds Space were available on Google Play -- a free version and two premium versions. All three appeared to be official Rovio versions of the software.

Rovio posted a warning about the malicious imposter app on its blog Thursday, advising users to download only the official version of the game. "As you get ready to pop pigs in zero gravity, watch out for fake versions of Angry Birds Space," it read.

According to Sophos, the phony app "appears to be a fully-functional version of the popular smartphone game," except that it installs malicious software on Android that takes over one's phone.

"Once it’s infiltrated your device, it then begins downloading further malware onto your phone, while enlisting it as part of a botnet," reports Redmond Pie, which ran a story on the security threat to Android on April 6.

Angry Birds Space was downloaded 3 million times in the three days following its release on March 22, according to Rovio.

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