Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Porn-Laden Gaming Apps Infiltrate Google Play

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Doris Mccormick | 13 January, 2018, 05:29

The malware, dubbed AdultSwine, displayed pornographic images that looked like ads but were actually created to prompt users to download fake security software and, getting users to click on links they then have to pay for.

Pornographic images were found on scores of children's game apps which were in the Google Play store, caused by a malicious code called "AdultSwine". The apps contained code dubbed "AdultSwine", Check Point Research said Friday. A Google spokesperson told the Financial Times, "We've removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers' accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them". The most popular include Five Nights Survival Craft, Mcqueen Car Racing Game, Addon Pixelmon for MCPE, CoolCraft PE, and Exploration Pro WorldCraft.

After Check Point informed Google about the malware, the tech giant worked with the security firm and deleted the apps right away, Check Point said.

Google does have a safety feature called Google Play Protect, which checks apps when you download them and periodically scans your device for harmful apps to remove them.

The malware also sought to trick users into installing fake security apps, and could open the door for other attacks such as theft of user credentials, Check Point said.

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Check Point says the "malicious code's own ad library... contains ads of an offensive nature, including pornographic ads".

Last year, an outcry over disturbing videos aimed at children forced YouTube to terminate the channel ToyFreaks, where a father posted clips of his young daughters screaming in terror, which had gained 8 million followers.

The company clarified that the inappropriate ads within the apps were not Google ads. 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.

Google Play, formerly known as the Android Market, is the official app store for Android smartphones and tablets. "Users should be extra vigilant when installing apps, particularly those intended for use by children". It also meant to get users to buy worthless premium services, the researchers found.

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