Pop-up porn malware on Google game apps

Kotlin-based Android malware discovered in Google Play Store

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

The apps so far had been downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times, the researchers said, citing Google Play's data. The malware, dubbed AdultSwine, displayed pornographic images that looked like ads but were actually created to prompt users to download fake security software and, getting users to click on links they then have to pay for.

In an email, Check Point said Google is usually quite successful when blocking malware on the Play Store. "An experienced eye could easily foresee this tactic, though a child playing a game app is easy prey for such nefarious apps".

"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 said.

A number of Android apps on Google Play that could have been downloaded by children have been serving up an unwelcome surprise: pornographic ads.

"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.

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'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 bans software that promotes sexually explicit content, and the company has safeguards in place to prevent malware-laden apps from infiltrating the platform.

In this case, the malware initially displays a pop-up ad claiming the user has won an iPhone and that their phone number is needed to collect the prize.

"Although for now this malicious app seems to be a nasty nuisance, and most certainly damaging on both an emotional and financial level, it nevertheless also has a potentially much wider range of malicious activities that it can pursue, all relying on the same common concept", Check Point warned.

"Due to the pervasive use of mobile apps, 'AdultSwine" and other similar malicious apps will likely be continually repeated and imitated by hackers.

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