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Angry Birds Is the Most-Banned Mobile App By Businesses (fortune.com) 47

Barb Darrow, writing for Fortune: Corporate IT pros face the unenviable task of trying to protect valuable data from threats that change all the time. One vector of attack is clearly smartphones and tablets that employees use both for work and pleasure. To that end, mobile device management firm MobileIron just came out with its latest tally of the ten most blacklisted apps, based on a survey of 7,800 companies worldwide. Angry Birds tops the list of most-banned apps at companies worldwide, as well as in Australia, the U.S., and government sectors tracked by MobileIron in its twice-yearly Mobile Security and Risk Review. The survey covers the use of Android, iOS, and Windows devices from Oct. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016.
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Angry Birds Is the Most-Banned Mobile App By Businesses

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  • by Maritz ( 1829006 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @10:11AM (#53855893)
    The newer one just bombards you with adverts constantly. Those adverts themselves are often malicious looking. ("battery" boosters, fake "you've won a prize" shit, etc etc.
    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      The newer one just bombards you with adverts constantly.

      Which version are you referring to as the "newer one"? There are at least a few that are actively maintained. With "Angry Birds 2," "Angry Birds Seasons," and "Angry Birds Friends Tournament," I see relatively few ads. "Relatively" meaning far fewer than "Words with Friends," which is the only other game on my phone that's run often enough for me to notice ad frequency.

      Those adverts themselves are often malicious looking. ("battery" boosters, fake "you've won a prize" shit, etc etc.

      I do believe I remember seeing a "battery booster" ad. I'm pretty sure I would have remembered seeing a fake "You've won a prize" ad - I don

      • The one I see most often has a blinking envelope and tries to look like a mail notification. The other trick is to make the "Close X" button not appear for a few seconds or make the actual button smaller than the X so you open the App store instead of closing the Ad.

      • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

        Sorry my information might be a bit out of date. I'd say it was a year ago now, and it was Angry Birds 2. It in particular likes to get the user to look at advert videos in order to get extra lives, etc.

        Perhaps they've cleaned up the setup since then.

        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          It in particular likes to get the user to look at advert videos in order to get extra lives, etc.

          Perhaps they've cleaned up the setup since then.

          That's still the case. All three of the variants I mentioned offer in-game niceties in exchange for watching ads. I was referring to the mandatory ads being relatively sparse. If you're counting discretionary ads, I guess there can be more as desired. In "Angry Birds Friends Tournament," you can watch an ad up to once a day for a spin on their power-up wheel. In "Angry Birds Seasons," you can choose to watch an ad when offered in exchange for 10 minutes with a scope for your sling. In "Angry Birds 2," you c

    • Fully mitigated if you deny the app internet access. I block any games from the internet on my son's tablet, no ads, no annoying notifications, no busy background processes, and saves on battery.

    • You kinda answered my question and you have a point.

      Thing is, to me, adverts on Android apps that don't require an internet connection are a moot point, as I just block them with NetGuard (a non-root FOSS firewall for Android). All ads they can try and throw at me are the static, no-video, no-sound, and most of all, (low) no-revenue variety since either Google Play Services doesn't detect them or detects them but pays less for static ads.

      And while I could be biased for-ads by being an Android developer, I c

    • by johanw ( 1001493 )

      I see no ads. Adblocking should be one of the first things to install on any smartphone, corporate or private.

  • "Angry Birds tops the list of most-banned apps at companies worldwide, as well as in Australia, the U.S..."

    Are Australia and the US no longer worldwide? I didn't get the memo...

    • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

      It is quite possible to be the most banned app in the world, but not be the most banned app in an individual country. Is that so hard to figure out?

  • People waste more time playing "Candy crush" it seems.
  • by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @10:20AM (#53855951)
    I thought that's what vpn were for...
    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      I thought that's what vpn were for...

      Not all employers will be happy with you running your own VPN at work. I don't know what my current employer would say (other than "WTF are you doing that for?"), but at my last couple of positions (Department of Energy), it would have been an major no-no.

      • Agreed, the last company I was at, it would have been a final written warning. Which is why I didn't tell anyone :-)
        My current company is a lot more laid back about stuffs, can even go to youtube and facebook if you feel so inclined, so the server I rent in Chicago to tunnel is doing nothing much at the moment.
      • I thought that's what vpn were for...

        Not all employers will be happy with you running your own VPN at work. I don't know what my current employer would say (other than "WTF are you doing that for?"), but at my last couple of positions (Department of Energy), it would have been an major no-no.

        Lmao. And here I thought it was funny that in order to circumvent ip blocks for popular games at work people use vpn. Guess it's my bad for no /sarcasm tag.

      • I used to work at a place where they started cracking down on what employees were allowed to reach from the office network in an attempt to reduce the bandwidth used for non-work tasks. They were a large national employer, so the Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Netflix, etc. traffic was significant.

        Eventually things got so bad that you couldn't even connect to the Internet using your work laptop at home without first connecting to the corporate VPN. And of course once you were connected to the VPN you still c

        • by zlives ( 2009072 )

          he clearly didn't speak to HR before making that statement :)
          also the network security people are pretty bad for not having foreseen and mitigated this in the first place... why even the need to being a little snitch boitch, block it if its against policy.

        • by johanw ( 1001493 )

          Am I glad for a decent 3G/4G mobile data plan. My phone is not dependent on or monitored from any employers network. I could even let a laptop tether on it.

  • by pr0t0 ( 216378 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @10:25AM (#53855977)

    The joke at my workplace for a while was, if the phone was in landscape mode during a meeting, the user was playing CoC.

  • Makes no sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @10:35AM (#53856033) Homepage Journal

    This article makes no sense at all. It clearly comes at this from the security angle, and says these apps that are blacklisted for that reason. That is why Dropbox is #2 on the list, for example, because it makes it too easy to move files in and out of the company. This is not about loss of productivity, but one of data security. The article gives no explanation whatsoever why Angry Birds is blacklisted for security. Does it record audio in the background? Take pictures? Report location? There is more to this than what the article discusses.

    Angry Birds is the only entertainment / game app in the top 10 of any of those countries. So again, there is more to this than it being a popular game, otherwise the list would be just that - the 10 most popular games.

    • FTFA - "Games like Angry Birds, for example, have been criticized by some for leaking information about users, as reported by The Guardian and other news outlets."
      • That still makes no sense. If it's "games like Angry Birds" then why aren't all "games like Angry Birds" banned? Why do you single out and ban one game? This is specific to Angry Birds. Unless this list uses the term "Angry Birds" to mean "Any blacklisted game". Either way the article still does not explain what is going on here.

        • Dropbox is forbidden at the hospital where I work with a few exceptions. Anything that requires a local change to the workstation gets vetted carefully and unless you can make a good case for it, you don't get it.

          The original excuse was 'but we have Sharepoint .... '

          Of course, the CEO wants to use some idiot feature of Facebook to 'help' the admin team. Glad I'm not part of IS.

    • I agree with you.

      From a security viewpoint it's even worse. The usual popular time sinks (Angy Birds, Candy Crush...) should have been under enough scrutiny to assume that they are "clean". Banning the popular originals will drive users to the $chinese-knockoffs where no one knows what kind of payload is inside.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      They don't appear to have much curation of the ads that get shown in the game. Lots of them are blatantly deceptive/malicious. I actually emailed them about it once, shockingly they didn't seem to give a fuck. ;)
    • by johanw ( 1001493 )

      Angry birds asks for location on my phone - XPrivacy clearly tells it NO.

    • This article makes no sense at all...

      "based on a survey of 7,800 companies worldwide."
      I'm not how these surveys work or what type of people respond to them. If you as admin received a request from someone you have no professional relationship with to tell your most blacklisted apps, how would you respond? Anyone with a reputation wouldn't as this could be an attack vector in itself. And who manually blacklists apps anyway? Any security blacklist is usually predefined by the software you use to blacklist by category or classification. There ar

  • Did I miss something? What do they mean by Angry Birds as part of "threats that change all the time"? What's the big difference in playing the game on a personal device vs a company phone? I can think of a gazillion more meaningful ways they could be protecting against actual data-leak/money-costing problems, you know, unlike Angry fuckin' Birds

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @10:49AM (#53856135)

    9 Programs that can be an IT security risk or a social network / communication app.

    And a game.

    Why is Angry Birds on the list? Is it only the original one or do they also block Angry Birds 2, 3, Space, Starwars, Rio, Rio2, etc.

  • Why would anyone think that even having one of these treacherous so-called "smart" so-called "telephones" powered on is anything but a complete security disaster? Those are not telephones, they are locked-down computers, not under your control, running unknown quantities of unknown blobs of proprietary software doing who-knows-what and storing it all to blackmail you later.
  • If you work at a place with a decent IT shop, they'll happily put company email on your phone as long as you run their remote watch-and-wipe app. It's just not worth it to me - instead I publish my personal cell phone number everywhere along with a note "text me if it's serious" and check work emails when I get the next business day.
  • This is why there is a Company Phone and your own phone. And if you keep them a case that looks identical....
  • Either you don't allow any mobile device on your corporate network, or you set strict mobile management policies that don't allow the installation of *ANY* application by the end user and push all mobile apps through the mobile management platform.

    I chose the first option. There's no need for any of our phones or tablets to be on the corporate network.

  • Can any Aussies help us out here? Google gives back 0 results.

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