The popular iOS game Temple Run isn’t out for Android yet, but a game that looks an awful lot like it showed up in the Android market recently. Since Imangi Studios, which makes the real Temple Run, had promised to release the game in February of 2012, excited fans leaped on the product and downloading it immediately. The problem is, the app was a trojan horse designed to fill their phone with malware.
Imangi quickly took to twitter to warn their followers about the danger:
“Temple Run is not yet out for Android,” it tweeted. “The new scam claiming to be Temple Run is a fake that puts malware on your phone. Do not DL. Sigh.”
Using popular games as trojans for malware isn’t new, and it’s one of the best avenues identity thieves and other hackers have to finding valuable information about their targets. Random downloading of large numbers of apps is one the most risky behaviors someone with a smartphone cane use: people might imagine that their phones aren’t muh more than communication devices, but in reality they’re treasure troves of personal information with access to financial websites and more. Smartphone users have an identity theft instance 1/3 higher than the general public.
It isn’t all that hard to avoid malicious apps, but it does require a bit of attention. The reviews are a good place to start: for instance, the first review of the fake Temple Run reads: “It does nothing but install worthless crap and plug up my Facebook, and worst of all I CANT EVEN PLAY.”