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Researchers find pop-up porn malware on Google game apps

13 January 2018

Then there were some ads that tried to trick the user into giving up their phone number by telling them that they had won a prize.

Check Point said Google took "decisive corrective action" to remove affected apps upon learning of the firm's findings, disabled the developers' accounts and will continue to show strong warnings to any users that still have the app installed.

Dubbed "AdultSwine" the malware hides inside game apps that Google Play data says have been downloaded between 3 to 7 million times, Check Point said in blog posting on Friday.

Once downloaded, the malicious apps displayed "highly pornographic" pop-up advertisements in a new web page, and attempted to scare users into installing fake security apps.

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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.

The popular video calling app Google Duo comes up with new features. "An experienced eye could easily foresee this tactic, though a child playing a game app is easy prey for such nefarious apps". Numerous games were aimed at children.

The gaming apps include titles such as Mcqueen Car Racing Game, Subway Banana Run Surf, and Paw Puppy Run Subway Surf.

Check Point says the "malicious code's own ad library... contains ads of an offensive nature, including pornographic ads".

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There are a bunch of apps that make Google's operating system awesome, but what many people don't know is that none of them would work without Play Services.

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

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

At the end of the call, these users will be prompted to install the Duo app; that will remain a choice.

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"We advise parents to verify that apps used by their children are categorized as 'Designed for Families" on Google Play'.

Researchers find pop-up porn malware on Google game apps