Bad Piggies, the follow-up to casual game smash hit Angry Birds was #1 in the iTunes App Store within just a few hours of launch – but some nefarious type is jumping onto Rovio‘s bandwagon and using the game’s popularity to reach its own no-good results.
Independent security and data protection company Barracuda Networks has revealed that more than 80,000 gamers have been sucked in by a fake version Bad Piggies that has been doing the rounds through the Google Chrome store.
Officially, Bad Piggies is only available on iTunes for iPhone ($0.99) and iPad ($2.99), and free on Google Play for Android devices – so its appearance on Chrome should start ringing some bells, but it looks like a bunch of gamers have been sucked in.
Not only is the game not actually Bad Piggies (it’s some sort of pigs-shoot-birds game), but it’s also packed with malware and other nasties. The fake app installs a browser plug-in that will commandeer online ads, redirecting them to something other than the original site may have intended.
But it doesn’t stop there! Installing the app involves – predictably – giving it permission to “access your data on all websites”, which means the plug-in can be used to pinch your personal information, such as email addresses or worse, your online banking details.
Barracuda points out:
When installing a plug-in inside the Chrome web store, consider the requested permissions with a critical eye toward the intent of the plug-in. If the plug-in requests any permission that does not seem reasonable, do not install it.
Playing a web-based game should have nothing to do with your other browser tabs at all.
Simply put: Don’t download things unless they are through the official channels, and endorsed by the official developer and/or publisher – the fake Bad Piggies had been submitted by a company named playook.info/.
Of course, sometimes people slip up – we’re only human after all. If you’ve downloaded one of the fake Bad Piggies for Chrome, uninstall them immediately, and change your passwords on all other websites as soon as you get the chance.