Google removes 60 games infected with porn malware from Play Store

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The researchers said the code could "wreak havoc" in three possible ways: display web ads that were often inappropriate and pornographic, attempt to trick users into installing fake "security apps", and try to make users register for some sort of premium services at a cost. All these are displayed to children while playing the game that the app is masquerading as.

"Should the user press the notification of "Remove Virus Now" he is redirected to an app in the Google Play Store with a somewhat questionable connection to virus removal", said the researchers in an analysis. It's also built to be flexible, so its authors in the future could expand their sites to other malicious activities, such as credential theft.

Google Play Store is the biggest open source platform for developers around the globe to go mainstream by working on productive apps and games.

The malware further sought to trick users into installing fake security apps. The apps had between 3.5 and 7 million downloads combined, according to Play Store estimates.

"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.

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There are many reports where Android users delete Play Services because they don't know what it does and then they are left baffled to why their other apps stop functioning. The feature has been created to constantly check apps as well as periodically scans devices for harmful apps in order to remove them. Should the user answer them, the page informs the user that he has been successful, and asks him to enter his phone number to receive the prize.

First, the malicious app displays a misleading ad claiming a virus has infected the user's device.

If you're interested in reading Check Point's list of affected apps, take a look at its research post for all the details. Users should be extra vigilant when installing apps, particularly those intended for use by children.

Google points out that though the apps were geared toward kids, they wouldn't be found in its "Designed For Families" section, where the company highlights safe apps which are specifically designed for families and children.

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