Google Play Store shuns 60 games infected with AdultSwine porn malware

James Marshall
January 13, 2018

Sixty games were booted off the Play Store after security firm discovered that they contained pornographic ads and malicious components.

While they appeared as such, the pornographic images displayed were not actually Google ads.

Within the list are apps like Musixmatch, an app that lets users learn the lyrics to favourite songs and that is also compatible with top music streaming services. Therefore, Play Services is a key core component to Google's premium user experience.

In addition, the hidden code can serve up scareware or other scams.

It does this by contacting the developers' Command and Control server once the app has been downloaded, sends data about the infected device and gets back instructions on what to do next.

To combat the spread of malware through the Google Play store, Google introduced Bouncer in 2012, which scans apps for threats before making them available for download. Once installed, the app would phone home, sending information about the user's phone and receiving instructions on how to operate. "All these are displayed to children while playing the game that the app is masquerading as", the security firm added.

An estimated 300 malicious apps made their way into the play store past year.

The "virus removal solution" is anything but - it's another fake app. They have been downloaded between three and seven million times.

This time however, the ad claims that the user is entitled to win an iPhone by simply answering four short questions.

When the malicious code is installed onto your phone, it waits for the user to unlock the device to start the malicious activity. Once entered, the ad itself then uses this number to register to premium services. The apps contained code dubbed "AdultSwine", Check Point Research said Friday.

Check Point said it expected AdultSwine and similar malware to be repeated and imitated by hackers, warning users to be extra vigilant when installing apps, especially those intended for use by children. We advise parents to verify that apps used by their children are categorized as "Designed for Families" on Google Play.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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