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Google removes 60 apps from the Play Store that hid pornographic ads

14 January, 2018, 00:45 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • Google Pulls Games For Kids Containing Adult Swine Malware

While some ads showed pornographic images, there were other apps that displayed fake notices which that the phone had been infected by a virus and provided a malicious link to a fake virus cleaner.

The malicious code, named AdultSwine, also attempts to make users register to premium services at the user's expense.

Google points out that though the apps were geared toward kids, they wouldn't be found in its "Designed For Families" section, where the company highlights safe apps which are specifically designed for families and children.

Check Point's graphical description of AdultSwine at work.

Despite significant efforts from Google, the Google Play Store is regularly hit by malware outbreaks that affect unsuspecting users.

The malware has been labeled "AdultSwine", and soon after Check Point alerted Google, the apps disappeared from the store.

More news: Guardiola and Kane win December Premier League awards

According to the reports of Financial Times, among those affected app some were very popular in children for gaming like Five Nights Survival Craft and McQueen Car Racing Game, and a lot of them had over 1 million downloads. While the AdultSwine malware games only seem to display ads they receive from the C&C, there could be other unknown intentions of the attacker that are now unknown, possibly, credential theft.

The data-stealing malware is also capable of other kinds of malicious activities such as performing click ad frauds, remote command execution and sending SMS.

Google moved quickly on Friday to remove the roughly 60 apps said to be affected from its Play Store. All together, the apps-which include gaming- and drawing-related titles-were downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times.

Upon being advised of our findings, Google collaborated with Check Point Research, took prompt action to remove affected apps from Play, disabled the developers' accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to any users that still have the apps installed.

Apple's App Store does contend with malware but, due in large part to tighter restrictions and a far smaller number of apps and users, the iOS App Store appears to be hit less frequently with malware outbreaks than its Android counterpart. A full list of apps can be found here.

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