Instead of letting Flappy Bird mania run its course, and making a quick million dollars, Nguyen felt that the game was too addictive and pulled it from all app stores. But that left countless players in Flappy Bird withdrawal, a problem solved by third party developers who quickly knocked off the character and the game play. The problem is that a high percentage of these clones contain malware, according to McAfee. And because of the open source nature of Android, most of these infected Flappy Bird clones are found on apps made for Android phones.
One of the most common events caused by the malware, are phone calls made without permission. Brian Kenyon, chief technical strategist at McAfee, said that these calls go to premium numbers that charge extra "much like the chat numbers that had a huge impact on people's phone bills a few years ago." Texts are also sent to SMS addresses that collect money. In addition, the malware gives away the user's location, which is helpful when a zip code is required to pull a credit card scam.
Nguyen has talked about bringing the original game back, which just might put the infected clones out of business.