People love to play the bad guy, so it's no surprise that Bad Piggies, the spin off of Rovio's popular Angry Birds game franchise, has done very well worldwide, earning the top spot in the iPhone App Store hours after its release in late September. But that popularity has a dark side: Some real bad buys have created a fake version of the game as a Chrome extension that has already infected more than 80,000 users with malware.
Rovio's new game focuses on Angry Birds' hated green swine baddies, giving the Bad Piggies a chance to soar to new heights through mazes and puzzles. But when a user searches the Chrome Web Store for the game, what they find might be a little fishy.
IT security company Barracuda Networks posted on its blog that it downloaded a few of the titles and found that the plug-ins came from a site called playook.info, supposedly a source for free flash games. (This includes a game called "Angry Mario," which aside from any possible malware that comes along with it, sounds like a pretty freaking cool idea.) Barracuda found that when a user downloads one of these games, they are asked to allow the app access to website data.
Using a test environment, the company allowed access and checked out the games. The first thing it noticed was that the game doesn't resemble the real Bad Piggies game. Instead of the mazes and puzzles that make the pig game different from its predecessor, you get a pigs-shoot-birds set up.
More to the point, the plug-in also accesses popular sites like Yahoo, Myspace and even AngryBirds.com to snatch up personal info like email addresses and credit card numbers. A full list of the sites infected with adware so far is available on Barracuda's blog.
Don't Be A Victim
To make sure you don't get sucked into this mess, be wary of giving any permissions to plug-ins from the Chrome Store. If it seems suspicious, don't download it. If you already did allow access, change your passwords and uninstall the extensions immediately.
As of right now, the real game is available in the App Store, Google Play, Mac App Store and as a download for the PC. Windows 8 and Windows Phone versions will be available soon.