Despite being removed from the Play Store, the story of Flappy Bird doesn't seem to be over just yet. Earlier this morning we learned the game was gone, and about how it will never be coming back. Developer Dong Nguyen mentioned that while speaking with Forbes. It was during that same conversation where he mentioned the subject of clones, even admitting to checking some out.
But it seems there may be a bit more going on behind the scenes with some of these clones. A new report from Trend Micro mentions how some of these fake Flappy Bird releases have malware. Simply put, it seems some of these games may be offering something more troublesome than game addiction. The report talks about how these malware loaded releases are "rampant in app markets in Russia and Vietnam."
A little more reason for concern, these also seem to have the same appearance as the original Flappy Bird. Trend Micro mentioned how some of these titles are using Premium Service Abusers. Basically, these infected games could potentially cost you some money. This is all being shown in the permissions, but honestly, people want Flappy Bird -- not to sit and check out the required permissions.
One of the key items to keep an eye out for deals with SMS. In the example shown here, this fake Flappy Bird release is asking for permission to send and receive text messages. It is the sending bit that is the bigger issue, as this connects with premium services. And keep in mind, we aren't talking about sending a few messages, this is subscribing you to a service, and will cost you money each month -- even if you have an unlimited messaging plan.
Just in case that didn't provide enough reason for concern, there are some other potential issues here. The report also mentioned how these apps could also pose "a risk of information leakage for the user since it sends out the phone number, carrier, Gmail address registered in the device." Bottom line here, you should always be careful when installing apps, and in this case, even more so when you are looking for games similar to Flappy Bird.