Pornographic malware found in Android apps for kids

Pornographic malware found in Android apps for kids

A malware built to display porn ads within mobile apps, including a large number of children's games, has been uncovered in Google Play. The discovery was made by Check Point Software Technologies with Silicon Valley offices in San Carlos.

Malicious code named "AdultSwine" was hidden in the affected apps, as Check Point Researchers discovered.

Android users should make sure they download apps from known developers and parents of young users are urged to download apps from Google's family program. The ads were not Google ads, according to Google.

About 60 apps were recently deleted by Google after the company learned that a bug was placing pornographic ads inside the apps.

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

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. Therefore, Play Services is a key core component to Google's premium user experience.

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"An experienced eye could easily foresee this tactic, though a child playing a game app is easy prey for such nefarious apps", the researchers said. The apps may have been taken off the Google Play store, but the malware will remain on an infected phone. Google installs Play Services on all Android powered smartphones and while people might not have any idea what this app does, its actually plays an important role in the Android ecosystem.

Check Point has a full list of the affected apps in its post on the issue. Once entered, the malicious code then uses this number to register to premium services.

The code could even do more damage, as Check Point noted that AdultSwine "also has a potentially much wider range of malicious activities that it can pursue, all relying on the same common concept".

The games included Paw Puppy Run Subway Surf, Shin Hero Boy Adventure Game, Drawing Lessons Lego Ninjago and Addon Sponge Bob for MCPE.

For someone without the app, they will see it as an incoming call with a view of your camera.

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