McAfee Threats Report Warns Nearly 8 Out Of 10 Flappy Bird Clones Riddled With Malware

Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen has promised to bring his popular game back to app stores in August complete with a multiplayer component next time around, but if that isn't incentive enough to wait for the real deal, perhaps the risk of malware infection will push you to patience. According to the latest Threats Report from McAfee Labs, nearly 80 percent of the Flappy Bird clones contain malicious code.

McAfee sampled 300 Flappy Bird clones late in the first quarter of this year. Of those 300 samples, 238 of them were malicious. That means you have a mere 1 in 5 shot at picking out a harmless clone if you go in search for a Flappy Bird knockoff.

Flappy Bird Clone

Some malicious clones are worse than others, though all of the infected applications have something nefarious up their sleeves. To give an example, one particular clone that McAfee discovered makes calls, installs additional apps, alls an app to monitor and record incoming SMS messages, send and extract SMS messages, send data to a cell number via SMS, read a user's contacts data, extract GPU location, read IMEI number and MAC address information and then transmit them to third parties, send user activity to third-party sites, and call the killBackgroundProcess(String), all without the user's permission.

Flappy Bird sat mostly unnoticed for a long while until seemingly becoming an overnight success story. It's simple game mechanics -- just tap the screen -- made it accessible to gamers of just about any age, and at the height of its popularity, the developer claims he was raking in $50,000 per day through in-game ads. However, as complaints from some parents and teachers rolled in over the addictive nature of the game, a guilty conscious prompted Nguyen to yank the app offline.

While he didn't say how he'll accomplish this, Nguyen said the version of Flappy Bird he brings back in August will be less addictive.