Since I have promised in my Temple Run 2 Download for iPad post that I will give updates whenever I already have Free Temple Run 2 For Android download links, I am constantly looking out for that Temple Run 2 for Android in Google Play Store.
Around 11:35 PM (GMT+8) of January 19, I found these apps in Google Play Store
Wow! got 2 hits for Temple Run 2 HD and they are using the new Temple Run 2 logo, really they have it in Android and its in HD (another wow!) am I lucky that day?
Looking closely at the first app I discovered something fishy.
Because original developers of the Temple Run is Imangi Studios and _NOT_ IMANGHI (take note of the H). 5900+ ratings. I looked further at the description of the app and its the same cut and paste description text found in the iTunes:
The sequel to the smash hit phenomenon that took the world by storm!
With over 170 million downloads, Temple Run redefined mobile gaming. Now get more of the exhilarating running, jumping, turning and sliding you love in Temple Run 2!
Looking at the second suspicious Temple Run 2 HD for Android app
Researching further, I looked at the reviews and this KSGBLUEAPPS version already have 122 5-stars. Wow!
Reading the full description of the apps and some of the user reviews I confirmed my suspicions: users are already complaining that these apps are just a puzzle/wallpaper apps, they are _NOT_ the legit Temple Run 2 app and they come with a big twist, with lots of Ads/Advertisement links (and by the sound of the 1-star reviewers comment, loads of Ad/Advertisement-related links for your mobile phone). This is very PREDICTABLE if you will ask me, as Ad/Adverts will bring in cash (kaching-kaching) and that is where the money is
What I find really amazing is “they” ARE FAST. In less than 2 days after the legit version Temple Run 2 for iOS was released, suspicious Temple Run 2 Android apps already made it in the Google Play Store.
So I did NOT download it and I forgot about it already (Either I’m getting old or I’m a very busy guy yah know :p)
Fast forward to January 22 around 4PM (GMT+8), a teammate send me an email asking about some malicious Android app related to Temple Run 2. So I checked their concern and remembered my weekend ad-friendly apps. I also searched for them, yup the previous Temple Run 2 HD for Android apps by Imanghi and KSGBlueApps from Google Play. Alas! both apps are already _NOT_ available via Google Play. I have several (conspiracy) theories on why they were removed but I will keep them to myself. What is important now is that Trend Micro already detects the said apps as ANDROIDOS_FAKETEMPLRUN.A, a Malware Blog post is already publicly available:
Fake Versions of Temple Run 2 Sprint Their Way to Users via Trend Micro Security Intelligence Blog.
and the said malicious apps are already kicked out in Google Play Store
Some questions remain:
- Are the apps (I screen captured) exact copies of those apps that my teammates analyzed for the Malware Blog post: Maybe. If we will base it from company name, description and related strings, most probably its the same.
- Am I sure about this? Not 100%. Sorry I do not have the exact APK file to compare it byte per byte to come up with a conclusion.
- Why did Google removed them from Google Play? I don’t know. You better ask them not me :p
- Do you see where these questions are leading you? (hehe conspiracy theorist = menard)
Lesson learned. Back to basic security tip: Be cautious of what you search, download and install to your mobile phone (this also applies to desktop/PCs). Be careful also with other unofficial Android Markets and websites offering free apps.
Better be safe than sorry OK?
AI: Do a blog post as an awareness campaign. Check!
Again be careful: malicious Temple Run 2 Android apps are out there in the wild.
Lastly some disclosure:
I work at Trend Micro. The views expressed in this blog post are mine and mine alone and do not necessarily represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions.
To know more about me (work and other stuff), kindly visit my about page.
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ScreenCapture Credits: Me and Gorehowldroid
Legit Temple Run 2 For Android available now via Google Play Store: