238 out of 300 tested clones of Flappy Bird — the game created by Dong Nguyen, who is still considering its relaunch — has been found to contain malware, according to a report from McAfee, Inc., a global computer security software company.
The Flappy Bird craze has gone wild, and MacAfee has stated that malware authors are taking advantage.
“They pack a lot more functionality than the original game. In fact, they are capable of many questionable, damaging, and invasive behaviors.”
MacAfee enumerated malicious behaviours the clones act. The clones do the following, among their malicious behaviours:
- Makes calls without the user’s permission
- Installs additional applications without the user’s permission
- Allows an app to monitor incoming SMS messages, and to record or process them (undeclared permission)
- Sends SMS messages without the user’s permission
- Extracts SMS messages
- Sends data to a cell number via SMS
- Allows an app to read the user’s contacts data (undeclared permission)
- Extracts GPS location (latitude and longitude)
- Reads IMEI number and MAC address and transmits them to third parties (JSON) without user’s permission
- Sends user activity data to third-party sites
- Allows an app to call the kill Background Processes (String) (undeclared permission)
This will serve as a warning, said MacAfee, advising users to maintain a “strong and safe device ‘hygiene’” and emphasising the effectiveness of common sense.