The rise and ultimate death of Flappy Bird is providing a platform for malware attacks now that the game has been removed from both the iTunes and Google Play stores. The majority of these attacks are targeting Android users – nothing new, given that 99% of malware attacks on smartphones target Android.
Huge success for Flappy Bird
For those unaware, Flappy Bird was developed by Dong Nguyen, and was uploaded to the iTunes Store in May of last year. Over the next ten months it became one of those success stories that developers dream about when they create games. This January, it rose to number one in both stores, and was earning Nguyen over $50,000 a day from pop-up advertising.
You can still play Flappy Bird online here on – ValueWalk
Its growth and addictive nature saw users posting genius reviews of the game.
“I’m sitting in the bathtub writing this review, warning you NOT to download it,” one wrote. “My family doesn’t dare enter. My brother hasn’t taken a shower in a month.”
“All it takes is seeing the words ‘Flappy Bird’ until you find yourself, 19 hours later, fingers bleeding, screen cracked, eyes duct taped open, insomnia and paranoia set in, so determined to pass the devil bird through the impassible gates that you would sacrifice every part of your body except your thumb if it helped beat your high score,” wrote another.
Unfortunately, these glowing reviews were also joined by insults, requests for interviews, and death threats. Nguyen decided to pull the plug, saying this behavior was not for him, something I dare say not many would do given its profitability.
Flappy Bird fakes laden with malware
As a result, scammers all over the world are looking to cash in on the void left by the original game by releasing versions that appear to be Flappy Bird to the untrained eye. These versions, warned the website Trend Micro in a blog post, should not be downloaded, given their high unseen costs.
“All of the fake versions we’ve seen so far are Premium Service Abusers – apps that send messages to premium numbers, thus causing unwanted charges to victims’ phone billing statements.”
“The fake Flappy Bird app asks for the additional read/send text messages permissions during installation – one that is not required in the original version.”
While you play you also pay, as your phone bill will show next month.