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Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Researchers discovered porn malware in Google Play kids's video games

Researchers discovered porn malware in Google Play kids's video games

After Check Point informed Google about the malware, the tech giant worked with the security firm and deleted the apps right away, Check Point said.

Google is removing 60 games from its Play Store for serving pornographic ads to children. Many users left reviews on the Google Play Store for some of the apps.

None of the affected apps were part of Google's "Family Link" program, which is the category of recognised kid-friendly apps available across Google's platforms. According to Check Point, the instructions included displaying the bogus ads, scaring users to install fake security apps and charging victims for services they did not request or receive.

"Kotlin is described as concise, drastically reducing the amount of boilerplate code; safe, because it avoids entire classes of errors such as null pointer exceptions; interoperable for leveraging existing libraries for JVM, Android, and the browser; and tool-friendly because of its capability to choose any Java IDE or build from the command line", Trend Micro researchers said in a blog.

AdultSwine does a range of things, starting with displaying ads from the web that are often highly inappropriate and pornographic. After the fake "ads" were delivered, users would have received a "Remove Virus Now" notification, or something similar, created to provoke users into downloading the scareware.

The malicious software displayed pornographic ads and tried to trick users into buying premium services, according to Check Point. The service would tempt users to sign up by offering free gifts such as iPhone X or iPads. 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. Those credentials could be transferred back to a server and used by malicious hackers.

The full list of infected apps can be found on Check Point's website. All together, the apps-which include gaming- and drawing-related titles-were downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times. "CheckPoint explains that it can be hard to catch these types of malware because, "(...) some nasty code can only be detected by dynamically analyzing the context of an app's actions, which is hard to do".

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