Pornographic malware found in Android apps for kids

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"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 told CNN Tech.

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A security system called Google Play Protect is supposed to defend customers using Google's Android operating system from malicious codes by scanning apps for malware.

"It's insidious as it originates in apps downloaded from trusted sources such as Google Play". Security firm Check Point uncovered the malicious bug that showed porn in game apps.

However, the company's safeguards can have a harder time detecting "borderline" malicious activities like pornographic ads.

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Dupe the user into allowing the app to send premium SMS messages at the victim's expense. After a download, the app only had to wait for a reboot, or for the user to unlock their screen, to start sending information back to a command and control server, which would then serve the ads.

The malware, which Check Point dubbed "AdultSwine", attacked users in three ways, with the pornographic ads only being one.

Google updated the Android Excellence list with a new set of apps and games.

In late August of past year, Google announced some updates to its Android Wear policy which would affect the requirements for an app to obtain an "Enhanced for Android Wear" badge. Check Point has a full list of the names to 63 malicious apps here. The phone number would be used to register for premium services. "While in some cases this link is merely an advertisement, it could also lead to whatever social engineering scheme the hacker has in mind". 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 that instance, the button was titled with a seductive: "Remove virus now".

Effective protection from attack by these malware-infected games requires users to install advanced mobile threat defence on all mobile devices.

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