Rovio warns against Android malware in fake versions of 'Angry Birds'

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Rovio Mobile is urging gamers to steer clear of fake versions of its blockbuster Angry Birds Space after security software firm Sophos identified malware-infected editions of the title available across some Android app storefronts.

Angry Birds and disguised pigs

Rovio warns users against downloading fake versions of Angry Birds Space.

"Watch out for fake versions of Angry Birds Space, and make sure to download safe by getting the official game from Rovio," reads a warning posted Thursday to the Rovio website after Sophos reported encounters with malicious knockoffs uploaded to some third-party app stores. According to Sophos, the Trojan horse--identified as Andr/KongFu-L, appears to be a fully-functional version of the game, but instead uses the GingerBreak exploit to gain root access to the device and install malicious code. The Trojan communicates with a remote website in an effort to download and install additional malware onto the compromised Android device.

"With the malware in place, cybercriminals can now send compromised Android devices instructions to download further code or push URLs to be displayed in the smartphone's browser," Sophos Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley writes on the firm's blog. "Effectively, your Android phone is now part of a botnet, under the control of malicious hackers."

Sophos makes it clear that the authorized edition of Angry Birds Space available from the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play storefront is not affected by the malware threat.

Rovio launched Angry Birds Space across Android, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, Windows PCs and Apple's Mac platform on March 22, with downloads surpassing the 10 million mark within its first three days of release. The Angry Birds franchise as a whole is closing in on a billion cumulative downloads; Rovio has also sold millions of plush toys and t-shirts. Late last year, the company said it is planning an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2013.

For more:
- read this Sophos blog entry

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