A total of 60 mobile apps were pulled down by Google from it’s Play Store, these apps attempted to show pornographic advertisements to children. The apps were infected with a malicious code called “AdultSwine”. Apart from displaying inappropriate ads, it also attempted to trick users into installing fake security apps and register for expensive services.
Security researchers at Check Point detected these apps on Google Play Store. According to Check Point, the malware had been downloaded by unsuspecting victims between three and seven million times. Google said it had removed the malicious apps and shut down the accounts of the developers behind them.
The apps generated advertising revenues for its developers by displaying inappropriate ads to the children they were aimed at. Check Point said that one of the “milder” examples of content shown to children encouraged them to download “leaked” images of Kim Kardashian.
The apps also told users that their devices were infected by a virus and displays a button “remove virus now”, upon clicking the button, users will be redirected to another malware app in the Play Store, posing as security tool.
Parents reviewing the apps on the Play Store warned that they had installed it for their children, some as young as four, only for pornographic images to be displayed. The most popular app that had been infected was called “Five Nights Survival Craft”, this app was downloaded up to five million times.
Google said it would send out warnings to users who had installed these apps to uninstall them. Noticed something similar? why not let us know via comments.
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. is an Israeli multinational provider of software and combined hardware and software products for IT security, including network security, endpoint security, mobile security, data security and security management.
Check Point was established in Ramat-Gan, Israel in 1993, by Gil Shwed (CEO as of 2016), Marius Nacht (Chairman as of 2016) and Shlomo Kramer (who left Check Point in 2003). Shwed had the initial idea for the company’s core technology known as stateful inspection, which became the foundation for the company’s first product, FireWall-1; soon afterwards they also developed one of the world’s first VPN products, VPN-1.
Google Play (formerly Android Market) is a digital distribution service operated and developed by Google. It serves as the official app store for the Android operating system, allowing users to browse and download applications developed with the Android software development kit (SDK) and published through Google. Google Play also serves as a digital media store, offering music, magazines, books, movies, and television programs. It previously offered Google hardware devices for purchase until the introduction of a separate online hardware retailer, Google Store, on March 11, 2015.