Porn Malware Discovered in Google Play Game Apps, Some Aimed at Children

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Researchers at security company Check Point Software Technologies on Friday found pornographic malware hiding inside about 60 games apps, many of which were intended for kids.

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. "We've removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers' accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them", a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"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. Google Play is the only way to download and install applications on Android devices without changing the device's application setting to "allow the installation of non-market applications". Clicking on the ads will redirect the victim to download a dodgy Android app called Goldeness Browser.

Google has contended with successful banking trojans, spyware, adware, complete takeovers and nation-state attacks over the past year.

However, the tech giant acted immediately and kicked the apps out of Google Play Store. "That said, I suspect it's a tiny percentage of what's actually thrown at them by malware developers. We appreciate Check Point's work to help keep users safe".

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Along with encouraging users to download scareware and pay for premium services, AdultSwine also stole users' credentials, according to Check Point.

Kotlin is a popular language used for writing Android apps.

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from The Jolt Journal. "In fact, the percentage of apps blacklisted by RiskIQ in the Google Play store has decreased, falling to a low of 4 percent in Q3 after reaching a high of 8 percent in Q2".

All apps participating in the Designed for Families program must be relevant for children under the age of 13.

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