Google removes gaming apps with pop-up porn malware

14 January, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • Google Google Play Store AdultSwine Adult Swine malware Google removes children games porn malware affects games porn malware Play Store

Google confirmed the incident to CyberScoop and a spokesperson said the apps were removed from the Play Store, the developer's accounts were disabled and warnings are being dispatched to anyone who installed the affected apps.

A security system called Google Play Protect is supposed to defend customers using Google's Android operating system from malicious codes by scanning apps for malware. "We appreciate Check Point's work to help keep users safe".

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Check Point researchers have found the new and nasty malicious code, dubbed AdultSwine, hiding in around 60 game apps. Google Play is the only way to download and install applications on Android devices without changing the device's application setting to "allow the installation of non-market applications". All these are displayed to children while playing the game that the app is masquerading as. However, the security firm warns that this malicious activity might not end here. "Along with encouraging users to download scareware and pay for premium services, "AdultSwine' also stole credentials", the Check Point researchers noted". So far, they've been downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times.

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.

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When it comes to the fraudulent premium services, AdultSwine initially displays a pop-up ad saying that the user is entitled to win an iPhone by simply answering four short questions. According to Check Point, the instructions included displaying the bogus ads, scaring users to install fake security apps and charging victims for services they did not request or receive. Then there were some ads that tried to trick the user into giving up their phone number by telling them that they had won a prize. When you launch one of its host apps - you can see the full list here - the code sends info back to its server, which chooses between three actions to take.

All apps participating in the Designed for Families program must be relevant for children under the age of 13.

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