Earlier this year, a game called Flappy Bird hit smartphones around the world. There was something incredibly addictive about the game and its retro graphics that made it so appealing. Unfortunately its creator made an odd choice of removing the game from app stores, claiming that he removed it for our own good.
However once the game was removed, app stores were soon flooded with clones and lookalikes, but as it turns out, a good majority of those clones and lookalikes had malware hidden in them, according to a report from McAfee. Now we knew that some of them had malware, but the latest report from McAfee claims that 80% of those clones had malware.
This is pretty scary since we’re sure that many gamers out there eagerly rushed to download a lookalike to see what all the fuss is about. As to what exactly the malware will do on your phone, well it ranges from making phone calls without permissions to numbers that charge high rates, or sending text messages that collect money.
One of the potential uses of the malware could also be to reveal the user’s ZIP code, which in turn could be used in a credit card scam. According to Brian Kenyon, chief technical strategist at McAfee, “You can’t sell a stolen credit card number from California to a guy in Florida, because if he buys gas with it and then an hour later the real owner buys groceries in California, the security system kicks in. If stolen cards go only to people in a nearby ZIP code, it can take much longer for anyone to realize there’s a problem. It increases their worth on the black market.”
Now if you had installed one of those clones or lookalikes on your phone, there is a chance you could have been infected, so you’ll most probably want to download some antivirus software for your phone to give it a quick scan to see if you are safe.