Bad Piggies Chrome App Installs AdwareBy: Zach Walton - October 9, 2012
By all accounts, Bad Piggies is shaping up to be Rovio’s next big hit. iOS and Android users are already downloading the game by the millions, and PC players will soon be able to join in the fun. Strangely enough, the game is already available on the Chrome Web Store, but it may just be too good to be true.
Barracuda Networks found that Angry Birds, Bad Piggies and numerous spin offs have started to pop up on the Chrome Web Store. The games aren’t made by Rovio, but rather a company called playook.info. The games look legitimate enough, however, so they could just be taking advantage of Rovio’s absence on the Chrome Web Store.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Barracuda Networks found that these games request a specific permission that should immediately trigger red flags. The games ask for permission to “access data on all Web sites.” By doing this, the games install adware that replaces Google ads with playook’s own ads.
Adware normally funnels advertising dollars to the creator of the fake apps, but it could possibly do much worse. Adware can sometimes make the transition to malware by stealing information such as passwords from Web sites that are affected. This could be potentially disastrous for Chrome users as they use their Google account to sign into everything Google related, not just the Chrome Web Store.
As with all cases of adware, use common sense when installing Chrome plugins. For one, you should never install a game unless it’s straight from the developer. You should also take a close look at the permissions that the app asks for. Adware can’t be installed on your system if you remain vigilant. Unfortunately, many Chrome users (over 80,000) have proven that they’re not very cautious, and have downloaded the adware-infested plug-in.
If you have already installed any of the fake Angry Birds plugins, removing it is as simple as uninstalling the plugin. The folks at playook could have already received mountains of info from your web pages, however, so it’s recommended that you change your passwords.
Google used to have a major malware problem on Google Play. The company introduced a new scanner called Bouncer that automatically removed any malicious content from the store. Maybe it’s about time Google introduced similar solutions to the Chrome Web Store.