If you’ve been to either the Apple App Store or the Android Market, then you’ve probably seen the masses of spin-off titles and downright “clones” of games that manage to flood in on a daily basis. But Android users are learning the hard way about the repercussions that sometime come with downloading these blatant rip-offs. According to sources, some pesky Internet pirates managed to get their hands on a mobile copy of the wildly popular Rockstar title, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and ported it to the Android store for free. Or at least that’s what consumers thought it was.
Every individual who downloaded the game and launched it on their Android device was not presented with a working title, but were instead flooded with a ton of harmful malware viruses. The “Vice City” copy was not a working title at all, and was instead designed by malicious users in order to install a variant of the “Boxer Malware.” This particular virus will hijack the user’s mobile device and will randomly send out premium rate text messages.
This isn’t a “new trend” either. Hackers and pirates have been embedding malicious software into mobile games for some time now, and this is actually the second time we have seen an infected Grand Theft Auto title. Earlier this year, pirates ported another GTA rip-off titled Grand Theft Auto: Moscow. This one was a little easier to spot, considering that developer Rockstar has never ported a game with that title, but it still didn’t stop a mass of individuals from downloading the virus out of curiousity.
Currently, Rockstar has only managed to bring two of its widely popular console games to the mobile platform; Max Payne Mobile and Grand Theft Auto III. Google has already stated that the games were uploaded via a third-party website, so they didn’t go past any type of screening.
GFI Labs was the first group to discover that the current Vice City release was a virus and also noted that it was only available for download on a Chinese Website (which was written entirely in Russian language). We urge you to double check the source of these games to ensure that you do not fall victim to these types of malicious piracy.
Photo Credit: Rockstar Games