ANDROID MALWARE AUTHORS have taken advantage of the popular fowl-flinging video game Angry Birds to infect unsuspecting smartphone users.
The threat was brought to the attention of malware detection experts at Sophos Labs when it discovered infected editions of the Angry Birds Space game were placed in unofficial Android app stores.
Sophos detected the game was in fact a Trojan named Andr/KongFu-L, which appears to be a fully-functional version of the game but uses Gingerbreak to exploit and gain root access to the device in question and install malicious code.
"The Trojan communicates with a remote website in an attempt to download and install further malware onto the compromised Android smartphone," Sophos said in a report. "Interestingly, the malware hides its payload - in the form of two malicious ELF files - at the end of a JPG image file."
Sophos said gamers who have contracted the malware will then be at the hands of "cybercriminals" that can send the device instructions to download more code or push URLs to be displayed in the web browser. According to the malware threat specialists, this will make the Android phone part of a botnet, "under the control of malicious hackers".
Sophos also warned Android users that they should be vigilant when downloading video games and any other applications from unofficial android markets. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ