Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Hackers hide malware, porn ads inside gaming apps on Google Play Store

Image used for representational purpose Image used for representational purpose
Beatrice Douglas | 14 January, 2018, 00:46

The apps weren't part of the family collection, which is based on a program to help parents discover age-appropriate content on the Play Store. In a statement provided to ABC7 News, Google also says that "AdultSwine" did not exploit an Android security vulnerability and that users' devices were not compromised.

The researchers from security firm Check Point reported a new Android threat, dubbed AdultSwine, which disguises as Android games.

Check Point said AdultSwine caused pornographic images to pop up during the children's games, including in a car-racing game named after the Disney cartoon character Lightning McQueen, which according to Google data had been downloaded at least 500,000 times.

A security system called Google Play Protect is supposed to defend customers using Google's Android operating system from malicious codes by scanning apps for malware.

The server then instructs the app to hide its icon to prevent deletion and tells which ads to display over which apps. Or, to trick you into registering for premium services charged to your account.


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

Another course of action the malicious app pursues is scaring users into installing unnecessary and possibly harmful "security" apps. While the AdultSwine malware games only seem to display ads they receive from the C&C, there could be other unknown intentions of the attacker that are now unknown, possibly, credential theft.

Apps infected with the nasty "AdultSwine" malicious code are able to cause emotional and financial distress.

However, the tech giant acted immediately and kicked the apps out of Google Play Store. They further went on to thank Check Point for their work in keeping their apps safe.

It is quite surprising that these apps found their way to the Play Store. All these are displayed to children while playing the game that the app is masquerading as. Google on Friday morning has disabled the developers' accounts and "will show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them".

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