Technology

Google Finds Malware Showing Pornographic Ads In 60 Kids' Apps

Google Finds Malware Showing Pornographic Ads In 60 Kids' Apps

Dubbed AdultSwine, the malware displayed pornographic images that looked like ads but were created to prompt users to download fake security software. Stories about malware apps living in Google Play aren't new, but the reason why this is concerning is that the primary target of these gaming apps are mostly kids.

Another technique used by the malicious app is registering to premium services and charging the victim's account for fraudulent premium services they did not request. Google on Friday morning has disabled the developers' accounts and "will show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them".

The security firm also said that the malware was able to get access to users' login credentials.

Check Point said AdultSwine can behave in three possible ways, including displaying ads that are "often highly inappropriate and pornographic".

The software called "AdultSwine", hides within game apps that, according to Google Play data, has been downloaded 3 to 7 million times, according to Check Point's blog post yesterday. The feature has been created to constantly check apps as well as periodically scans devices for harmful apps in order to remove them.

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Check Point has a full list of apps which were affected by the malicious AdultSwine code, including Five Nights Survival Craft and a "Mcqueen Car Racing Game" made to look like a Pixar's Cars movie game, among many others.

There are many reports where Android users delete Play Services because they don't know what it does and then they are left baffled to why their other apps stop functioning. It might, for example, tell users they could win a "free iPhone" by answering a few questions before prompting them to enter a phone number.

It should be noted, none of the apps in Google's Family collection had Adult Swine hidden in their codebase.

Effective protection from attack by these malicious apps, requires users to install advanced mobile threat defense solutions such as Check Point Zone Alarm on all mobile devices.

"An experienced eye could easily foresee this tactic, though a child playing a game app is easy prey for such nefarious apps", the researchers said.


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