Rovio's latest blockbuster game, Bad Piggies, is now available via Google Play and the App Store, and as a PC and Mac download, but it has not yet made its way to the Chrome Web Store.
Scammers have quickly taken advantage of this absence, introducing bogus versions of Bad Piggies into the Chrome Web Store that exist primarily to serve up in-browser advertisements via a few rogue plug-in permissions.
A search of the Chrome Web Store for "Bad Piggies" serves up at least eight plugins that have the game name in their title or description. But as Barracuda Networks noted, the plugins are far from legitimate versions of Bad Piggies.
Many of the plugins "request a significant permissions, [like] access your data on all websites,'" Barracuda said in a blog post. "At this step, you should stop installing this plugin. Playing a web-based game should have nothing to do with your other browser tabs at all."
Barracuda installed some of the plugins for testing purposes. They found that, not surprisingly, the games were not authentic versions of Bad Piggies. Their main purpose appears to be inserting extra advertisements into popular websites like Yahoo, MSN, eBay, MySpace, IMDb, Disney, and about 50 more.
To date, over 80,000 people are thought to have installed the bogus Bad Piggies plugins, with about 13,000 new installations alone last week.
"If you have already installed, uninstall them immediately and change your passwords on other websites if possible," Barracuda advised. The firm also warned users to be wary of plugins that require a lot of suspicious permissions in general.
Rovio released its Angry Birds spin-off, Bad Piggies, on 27 September, which lets users step into the hooves of the famed pigs. Players can build machines that crawl, roll, crash, and fly the pigs to the coveted eggs they are trying to steal. The game includes more than 60 levels, plus free updates in the future.
Bad Piggies became the number one download on the iTunes App Store just three hours after its 27 September release – faster than Angry Birds, or any of its themed incarnations. As of press time, the game sat in ninth place amongst free downloads in the Google Play store. The iPhone version is currently the number two paid app downloaded on the Apple handset, costing 69p.
A Google spokeswoman has claimed that the company has removed all of the fake Bad Piggies game extensions from the Chrome Web Store.