Malware Displaying Porn Ads Discovered in Game Apps on Google Play

Delia Watkins
January 17, 2018

Google has also taken a stand by removing these apps and banning the publishers from the Play Store.

As the news, Google may take strict action against the gaming applications which were triggering in-appropriate ads. Also, Google does have a safety feature called Google Play Protect, which checks apps when you download them and periodically scans your device for harmful apps to remove them.

"Indeed, these plots continue to be effective even today, especially when they originate in apps downloaded from trusted sources such as Google Play".

This malware is called AdultSwine and it affects your smartphones in three major ways. According to Check Point, the malicious application will display an ad that claims that your device is infected with a virus, prompting you to download "a somewhat questionable virus removal tool" (probably more malware). The ads were often inappropriate and at times pornographic-a fact made particularly troubling as numerous apps were geared toward younger users. 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.

In the same report, researchers shared a screenshot of a review from one of the parents who had an "AdultSwine"-infected game that said the app had showed their son "hardcore porn pictures".

AdultSwine also attempted to get the user to sign up for premium services, such as text messaging scams, which would charge the victim and generate profit for the attackers.

Malware Displaying Porn Ads Discovered in Game Apps on Google Play | Check Point Blog

Researchers at Check Point warned that while the majority of AdultSwine's functionality amounted to annoyance and small financial burdens, it had the potential to be much more damaging and could have been used to steal login credentials from victims, which could lead to sensitive information being compromised. They included Five Nights Survival Craft, which was downloaded a minimum of one million times; McQueen Car Racing Game, based on characters from Disney Pixar's Cars, and Addon Pixelmon for MCPE.

The code, which has been named AdultSwine, exists within around 60 game apps and has a triple-pronged attack.

Effective protection from attack by these malicious apps, requires users to install advanced mobile threat defense solutions such as Check Point Zone Alarm on all mobile devices.

Google has pulled 60 apps from its Play Store which attempted to show pornographic advertisements to children.

The Google's speaker also thanked Check Point for its work and for keeping "users safe".

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