Malware masquerading as Bad Piggies found on Google Play

Security researchers discover an Android app called "Bad Pigs" that is nearly identical to Bad Piggies that asked users for permission to change settings and access personal information.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
In this AppBrain screenshot taken by F-Secure, Bad Piggies and Bad Pigs are nearly identical. F-Secure

Heard of the game Bad Pigs? Or is it Bad Piggies?

Some clever hacker decided to create a malicious app deceivingly similar to one of the top games in the Google Play store. And, it was downloaded more than 10,000 times before people took notice.

Security company F-Secure wrote on Wednesday that it had located Bad Pigs -- which had the same artwork and app description as Bad Piggies -- and let Google know. The only apparent differences between the two apps were the names of the app and the developer -- who was "Dan Stokes" rather than Rovio. Google has pulled Bad Pigs from Google Play, according to F-Secure.

Bad Piggies is one of the trendiest game apps on Google Play. Made by Rovio, the same developers as Angry Birds, the app has done exceedingly well on both Android and iOS platforms. The game's popularity makes it all the better for hackers to create copycat malware for unsuspecting consumers.

According to F-Secure, when people downloaded Bad Pigs to their mobile devices, they may have also inadvertently downloaded malware. The game reportedly asked users for a huge amount of permissions, including the ability to change settings, access to personal information, and more.

Google Play has filters that work to detect and block against apps with malware, spyware, and Trojans, but some of these ne'er-do-wells apparently slip through the cracks. Several malicious apps have bypassed Google's security system over the past couple of years. Bad Pigs apparently debuted on Google Play on May 25, 2013.

Via PCMag.