Google Removes Apps With Pornographic Malware-Infected Ads From Play Store

Google removes 60 apps from the Play Store following discovery of pornographic ads

Google takes 63 apps down from Play Store

The apps were mostly targeted at children and contained explicit ads and warnings of a non-existent virus.

The most shocking element of this malicious app is its ability to cause pornographic ads (from the attacker's 3 party library) to pop up without warning on the screen over the legitimate game app being displayed.

AdultSwine also has the potential to open the door to other attacks like theft of login credentials.

The code, which has been named AdultSwine, exists within around 60 game apps and has a triple-pronged attack.

Another thing that a malicious code does is it scares users into installing unnecessary and even harmful "security" apps.

Malware appearing in Google's Play Store apps isn't something new, but a newly discovered piece of code proved to be particularly unpleasant. To make matters worse, the application also suggested owners upgrade it to premium services, making them pay for them.

The new strain, dubbed AdultSwine by researchers, was found in 60 Android apps, many with child-focused names - such as Spinner Toy for Slither and Drawing Lessons Angry Birds - by researchers from the cybersecurity firm, Checkpoint.

The "virus removal solution" is anything but - it's another fake app.

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Attempting to trick users into installing fake "security apps".

Another common tactic was to tell the target that they could win an iPhone by answering 4 questions.

Likewise, some asked the users to write their phone numbers after telling them they had won a prize. Once entered, the ad itself then uses this number to register to premium services.

"These configurations instruct it on whether to hide its icon, which ads to display, over which apps and on what terms", Check Point's researchers explained. The apps weren't part of the household group, which is based on a program that will assist parents to find age-appropriate contents on the Play Store. It could view which app was now running and inject pornographic ads inside that too.

Due to the pervasive use of mobile apps, "AdultSwine" and other similar malicious apps will likely be continually repeated and imitated by hackers.

You'd think that anyone with experience wouldn't fall for that, but again you should keep in mind that these malicious apps are created to target children who have far less experience with things like these.

For more full details of the research, please visit our Research Blog.

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