Pop-up Porn Ads in Angry Birds (Investigating)
  • My 8 year-old son was playing a free version of Angry Birds on my iPod Touch. He came into my office and told me some pictures of naked women had popped up. I tapped on the angry birds icon to find to my dismay that that was a gross understatement. The ad featured hardcore XXX images that featured graphic acts that would make a lot of adults blush. My son loves the game and I thought it was safe, but I was wrong. I had hoped he wouldn't be exposed to this stuff in 2nd grade! I only recently explained the birds and the bees to him. I shouldn't have to explain double penetration!!! I don't know if my iPod has a virus, angry birds has a virus, or these ads are coming with the game. I hope it gets fixed!!!
  • 52 Comments
  • I strongly urge you to contact Rovio with this information. The best form of contact would either be contact [at] rovio [dot] com or community [at] rovio [dot] com. I'm sure that, if this is within the app, it is something Rovio is unaware of and by no means did intentionally.
  • @jchiker - I've been playing AB on my iPod Touch since 2010 and have had nothing like this happen. I don't think it's the game. I'm sure an app as frequently downloaded as AB is going to be rigorously tested by both Rovio and Apple, so I doubt it's anything they'd allow to be inserted (pun kinda intended). It's more likely that your device is compromised, but that doesn't really make sense either as (I believe) Apple's app store is policed more than any other (such as Android app stores). This is curious indeed. Whatever the case, I'm sorry this happened to your and your little boy.
  • To the best of my knowledge, none of the AB games on iOS devices have ads. I thought that was only the model for Android devices, so I am not sure where ads would come from. Did they just pop-up during the game or was it when paused or..?

    Also, did you purchase this game direct from the iTunes store or did you get it from another source? If it wasn't iTunes, you might have a pirated or hacked version and you never know what people will put into those.

    I didn't think there were any viruses known for iOS devices and really one one recent one for Mac devices in general.
  • There is a free version of Angry Birds for iOS entitled Angry Birds Free, the same goes for Rio and Seasons. They provide a few levels, usually three per chapter (exception of Golden Beachballs) and are in the case of seasons and rio, the same levels. Abo free provides 8 chapters each with three brand new levels (currently up to birdday), but they do have pop up ads in the top right corner (on iPhone 3GS). They appear at any time from opening the game until you close it again, although often disappear when actually playing a level. :)
  • Very true Laurence - but the ads are for very benign things - I don't think I've ever seen anything even remotely questionable being advertised. Not saying it couldn't happen, but I'd be very surprised if porn could sneak past Rovio, much less Apple. But I guess it's possible they both can be fooled.
  • More likely to be a virus. Its for sure going to get fixed.
  • I don't have a smart phone, so wonder if you can get AV [anti-virus] software for them. If so, scan the phone. If not, whatever "sources" you can use to protect your phone, use them. And this is a VERY practical warning to pass on to everyone w/a smart phone: I remember telling a friend about 2-2 1/2 years ago, that those phones would be the next target for malware through downloading "apps." Some apps are free, others relatively cheap. Be very cautious of what you download. Don't think/believe you need ALL the apps out there for everything you do. True, some are time saving applications for performing searches / activities.

    Having conducted ID theft & computer virus prevention workshops, All I can say is BE CAREFUL!!! If it's free, it may cost you more then you had wished for. And think too, do you need all those apps? Sometimes, I think they take away the ability to think for ourselves. Expediting "time" and the "fast food mentality" we have all grown up with has made us more impatient and therefore we sometimes don't take the time to be patient and analyze what we ARE about to do.

    Make sure what you download is safe. Scan it first before "installing" it on your computer / phone.
    From one who knows having "fixed" many infected computers.

    Ellen
  • Some smartphones do have antivirus programmes, such as the Samsung Galaxy range, however, I don't think there is one currently available for the iPhone. The theory is that Apple's rigorous screening of apps before they are uploaded means that antivirus programmes are unnecessary, and I think it does work - this is te first I've heard of an issue with an App (a major one at least). Other operating systems have less scrutiny,and also multiple app stores. This allows for virus, Trojans etc, to creep in, such as that found in an unofficial version of ABSpace. However, if you're careful, only download from trusted sources, and don't do stupid things with your device, you should be fine. I've certainly not had any problems with software since getting my iPhone 3GS. (Hardware on the other hand………:p) :)
  • This is horrible! Sorry it happened.
  • That's bad on angry birds free it has ads but that really unusual to happen
  • Two solutions...

    1. Get the full version. [Not a solution, you HAVE to get the full game! :) ]
    2. Use airplane mode to turn off ads.
  • Oh wow...... I'm sorry to hear that happened. I can only imagine the questions he asked afterwards. Me trying to explain that to a 2 year old would be so very awkward.
  • The question to ask here is not that Rovio and Apple have tested the app, but which entity controls the adservers?
  • @TruckDriver - that is a very pertinent question, but I think there are a couple of other questions that need answering before we go blaming Rovio/Apple/Advertisers (especially as no-one else seems to have this issue).

    1. Is the iPod jail broken or stock?

    2. Is the copy of AB from a legitimate source?


    I notice @jchiker hasn't responded to any comments yet.
  • @CmdrBond - on your questions, at least from what I've read, #1 would seem not to matter, as the program, and all other media come from outside one's device. There have been several posters here at ABM who've stated that they play on jail broken devices, most without any sort of issues.

    #2 now, that strikes at the very heart of the matter, especially in light of the post on Trojan Horse virii. Couple my question with your #2, and I think we have ourselves a plausible line of inquiry.

    And @jchiker has only been a member for five days, which coincidently, is the same date as his post here. Now, I don't wish to read anything into that, but it's a factor to consider, as I haven't yet found any other evidence of that user around here.
  • Yer right Commander Bond, she hasn't responded to any comments. Are we talking to ourselves? Well, at least we are giving each other great advice!! ;>))

    "The name's Bond. James Bond"
  • @TruckDriver.

    I agree that my Q1 on it's own doesn't mean much, however if the iPod is jailbroken, it makes it much easier to install software that is not authorised (or paid for). And of course, that leads neatly onto Q2.



    Not only does the registration date coincide with the date of this post, s/he has made no other posts or comments at all, and s/he only has a forum profile.
  • My two cents -- we all got trolled by jchicker.
  • @chaostsar - I was wondering the same thing myself. It just doesn't add up. If they had said it happened on an android device I may have believed more, but from what I know about Apple...an advert like that would have to be pretty masterfully crafted to have gotten through, although @truckdriver is right too, the adserver has a lot to do with it.

    But, having used an ipod for over two years I have never seen anything even remotely porn-ish on it. My first thought when the original post was put up was that the poster forgot to close their browser and the son just stumbled onto what was displayed before he began playing Angry Birds.
  • I agree I have never those type of ads in Angry Birds free
  • This happened to me too. Thank God my 9 year old son wasn't playing it at the time. He had been playing it a few minutes before so it could have easily came up on him. I've only recently noticed the ads playing or coming up. It was Verizon Ads at first then all the sudden the porn came up. I will be sending an email to Rovio and iTunes. I'm very angry (pun intended!) about this.
  • Please keep us posted @disgusted - I'd like to know the outcome of your communication with Rovio and Apple. And welcome to ABN - I noticed you just signed up. :-)
  • Hmmm.... has any established member here at this site had this issue crop up? And by established, I mean anyone who has been a member more than a day or two....

  • Rovio is looking into it. Email from them:

    thanks so much for the additional information. We have started investigating this issue and hopefully we'll be able to get rid of this ad as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and we assure you that those kinds of ads should never go through to our games.

    Hope you have a great day!

    Sincerely,

    Nina
    Angry Birds Team
  • ChoasTsar, why does it matter if I have only been a member for a day or two? Just wondering :)
  • @Disgusted -- because I am naturally cynical and suspicious, and I find it rather odd that the only folks reporting this seem to be brand new to this site. I guess I just hang out on other sites where trolls are very, very prevalent and I just assume the worst. Nothing personal.
  • This happened to me yesterday as well. I had been playing for a while, then in the middle of a game, it launched {site removed by admin}. explicit! Don't really know who to blame, but I uninstalled the app immediately.
  • Chaos Tsar, you shouldn't be surprised to find new members with similar complaints. I found this forum with an intentional search for this topic after yesterdays event and decided to speak out like the others.
  • @c2oncpr welcome to the site. I hope you don't mind, but I removed that URL you posted. While I understand it was simply a description, I'd rather keep it off the site. There are too many youngens around, yaknow?

    I'm glad to see Rovio is looking into it. I'm sure they'll figure out who is districuting the ad and cut them immediately.
  • Just FYI - I was using an iPod Touch 3G, iOS version 4.3.3(8J2). I downloaded the
    game from the iTunes store on the iPod.

    I also did a search to find this site.

    @c2oncpr - I was not able to give Rovio the site URL because i deleted the game immediately. So if you don't mind, can you contact them and give it to them? I'm sure it would help them.
  • I spent some time on the free app trying to see if I got that ad, but my iPod is 4G and my IOS is 5.X. I'm not sure if I could recreate the situation. All I get are the usual vanilla, innocent ads.
  • @jchiker, @Disgusted and @c2oncpr

    Could we have some more information, just so we can compare?

    Which Device (model)?
    Which OS?
    Is it Jailbroken?
    Which version of AB?
    Where was it downloaded from?
  • Just keeping you guys in the loop. Rovio contacted me asking for some additional information, which I was able to provide thanks to c2oncpr. Hopefully that URL will help Rovio crack this case. If at all possible, I will continue to keep you guys in the loop, but rest assured that Rovio is actively investigating.
  • This is completely illegal. Porn ads on a child's game. We haven't had this game for more than 24 hrs and this ad popped up. I dont think i even touched the ad, but may have. The ad is for "DaBoink" and contains very XXX illicit photos. Glad I caught it and not my children, needless to say i will be removing ALL of the "Free" apps off my family's phones AND definately will not be purchasing ANYTHING!!!! If the developers of the code dont have control of the ads, WHAT else do they not have control of ??

    Model: iPhone4 OS
    AngryBirds : 1.4.0 15.6MB Apr 11, 2012 Rovio Mobile Ltd.
    Level reached when ad came up : VI-1

    Im sure there is and "end user" aggreement that protects them, but i will find out.
    You dont see D_a_B_o_i_n_k during comercials of spongebob !!!! Becasue the cable company know better than to make this mistake.
  • As I said, Rovio is investigating.

    Let us note that Rovio signs with ad distributors but they do not sign individual ads themselves. As such, Rovio is investigating WHICH distributor is responsible for these ads, which is more difficult that cutting one specific ad.
  • Boy, glad I only have AB on the PC. Don't have a smart phone. Will get one eventually but not interested in the apps. As I said in my previous post, having conducted ID theft & computer virus prevention workshops, when it's free / cheap, it costs more in mental anguish and $$$$ to clean up your stolen ID!!
    Ellen
  • @bowzerbird -- I don't think these pop-ups have anything to do with a virus or stolen IDs. It simply sounds like some sleazy ad makers and /or sleazy ad sellers.
  • Wow... I didn't even know the free versions on iOS had ads.
  • my cousin has the exact same as he does,the pop-ups are g-rated
  • Then its not relevant here.
  • Seems like Rovio is not taking this very seriously -- it's taken a long time for them to resolve this and / or report on status.
  • Speak of the Devil, I just got an update from Rovio:

    We have not been able to find this ad at all but just to be sure: we took down all the ads that were not checked by a person. One of our biggest ad sellers uses technology to "check" the ads and as you can imagine, it's not perfect.

    To anyone who has reported these issues, as all additional information is helpful, are any of you using jailbroken devices?

    Nonetheless, Rovio has taken all relevant measures to prevent this ad from appearing. If anyone has further issues, please let us know.
  • Can you buy the AB games for smart phones? I would think, if you can, ONLY the free version has the ads and it would behoove those who don't want the ads, to buy the game for their phones. On the PC, it only costs $5 each for the 3 main games and $6 for the Space game. Can you BUY the games for the phones? I would, can't cost THAT much! Let me know, just curious if you can buy it.

    Ellen [A Terence Birdy]
  • Yes, most smart phones have the Angry Birds series on them, and only free versions have ads.
  • I'm not so sure it was an ad. For me, I was intentionally trying to score 3-stars at each level. If I failed to score 3-stars, I'd play that level again. I had reached quite deep into the game with 3-stars at every level. I had just either beaten the level I was on, or struck an easter egg and the browser launched to the offending porn site. I didn't select an ad, nor did an ad popup. It acted like a game prize, surprise!
  • There is no such aspect to the game.
  • Wow. As much as I hate to say it, this is a BIG disgrace to Angry Birds and Rovio Entertainment. I completely hope this will get fixed in the future.
  • As you can see, this was settled months ago. I do not believe the add c2 saw is at all a part of Angry Birds.
  • Wow, that sounds terrible. He must be scarred for life.
  • I doubt he's scarred for life.
    I actually doubt any of this even happened.
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