Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

63 games and apps on Google Play served porn ads

63 games and apps on Google Play served porn ads

Security firm Check Point noticed the problem in over 60 apps; they contained hidden code that can display adult-oriented content, along with fake alerts claiming a virus has infected the device.

Security researchers on Friday disclosed the existence of malicious code buried inside dozens of apps that displayed pornographic images to users.

The malicious software displayed pornographic ads and tried to trick users into buying premium services, according to Check Point.

The respective pages of the malicious apps on Google Play already had negative user reviews warning other users about the display of inappropriate content in advertisements.

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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. Google was keen to add that the issue doesn't exploit vulnerabilities in Android security, and that users' devices weren't affected. Check Point didn't explain how the malicious code found its way inside otherwise-innocuous apps, but it did demonstrate how the attack worked once the game was downloaded.

Thankfully, Google has quickly collaborated with Check Point to pull the host apps off the Play store.

Check Point's graphical description of AdultSwine at work.

Google has now removed these apps from Play store.

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In late August of previous year, Google announced some updates to its Android Wear policy which would affect the requirements for an app to obtain an "Enhanced for Android Wear" badge. In a similar way to the scareware tactic presented above, the malicious app initially displays a pop-up ad, which attempts to persuade the user to register for this service.

It is quite surprising that these apps found their way to the Play Store.

"Developers [have] reported unexpected latency between when a user installs a mobile app and when the corresponding Wear app is installed via multi-APK on Wear 1.0 devices", Lam stated in a Google+ post.

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.

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