Google Chrome users who think they’re downloading a browser version of the Angry Birds-related Bad Piggies game could be in for a nasty surprise–just ask the 80,000 or more users who recently installed malicious Bad Piggies fakes directly from Google’s Chrome Web Store.
Users who give up such extensive permission run the risk of getting their browsers hijacked. The plugin authors can acquire all the web data when users browse the Internet with Chrome and then misuse users information, such as stealing and selling user email addresses and online credit card information.
Betabeat made a cursory search of Chrome’s Web Store and there are still multiple fake games using Bad Piggies and Angry Birds images as well as text to lure users into installing them.
Geek.com notes that just as with malicious spam over social media, common sense can go a long way toward not falling for this kind of scam. Users should be alert for obvious trademark violations, such as a game with an Angry Birds or Bad Piggies-related icon but no other evidence it is made by Angry Birds creator Rovio.
Barracuda Labs also notes that Chrome users should be wary of any plugin’s request for permissions. Global requests for access to user data on all websites, for instance, is sometimes a big red flag.
Another solution is to read reviews of the games. Most consist of one capslocked word: “FAKE!”