Sinister New Trojan Horse Poses as Popular App

Dennis Faas's picture

Online deviants have released malware that's disguised as a legitimate version of Angry Birds Space, the popular strategy puzzle game released a few weeks ago.

As you probably know, Angry Birds is a popular video game available for a number of platforms. Angry Birds Space is an extension of that original game that recently recorded 10 million downloads within its first three days of availability, followed by another 10 million downloads in the first week. (Source:

Unfortunately, says security software company Sophos, a malicious program is already masquerading as a legitimate smartphone version of the new game. The intent appears to be to steal gamers' personal information and embed itself deeply into each victimized system.

Exploit Leads to Botnet Infection

According to Graham Cluely, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, "the Trojan horse, otherwise known as Andr/KongFu-L, uses the GingerBreak exploit to gain root access to the device and install malicious codes. It communicates with a remote website in an attempt to download and install further malware onto the compromised Android smartphone." (Source:

The end result of this infection is to incorporate a digital device into a large-scale botnet. Cluely speculates that an infected machine can be commanded to download an additional malicious packet or to access any webpage.

Google "Lax" in App Verification

Bogus apps like this one have become cause for concern among Android users, with many pointing fingers at Google for its allegedly lax approach to app verification.

Late last year, for example, McAfee (another well-established security software company) singled out Google for not vetting harmful apps submitted to the Android store.

Because of the infected version, Angry Birds maker Rovio is urging users to avoid third-party services.

Rovio has posted a warning on its corporate website: "As you get ready to pop pigs in zero gravity, watch out for fake versions of Angry Birds Space, and make sure to download safe by getting the official game from Rovio."

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