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emfizz.com January 20, 2018


Google removes 60 apps from the Play Store that hid pornographic ads

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Following an investigation by security firm Check Point, Google has deleted 60 games from the Play Store that were infected with a malicious bug, which among other things injected pornographic ads into games targeted at children.

The cull came soon after Check Point found the malicious code lurking within apps and games that were specifically geared toward younger users. A Google spokesperson told the Financial Times, "We've removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers' accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them".

The games included "Paw Puppy Run Subway Surf", "Shin Hero Boy Adventure Game, ' 'Drawing Lessons Lego Ninjago, ' and 'Addon Sponge Bob for MCPE".

In an email, Check Point said Google is usually quite successful when blocking malware on the Play Store. Users have left reviews on the Google Play Store for some of the apps, with one saying, "Don't install for your kids".

One father complained to Google that the software had exposed his four-year-old son to "a bunch of thilthy (sic) hardcore porn pictures".

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The code could even do more damage, as Check Point noted that AdultSwine "also has a potentially much wider range of malicious activities that it can pursue, all relying on the same common concept".

Google does have a safety feature called Google Play Protect, which checks apps when you download them and periodically scans your device for harmful apps to remove them.

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. The latter is particularly disturbing considering that most of these infected apps were games or drawing tutorials meant to entice kids. "Should the user answer them, the malicious code informs the user that he has been successful, and asks him to enter his phone number to receive the prize".

Duo isn't the most widely used of apps, but a number of us here at Ausdroid do use it (unlike Allo).

In some cases, the malware would also prompt users to register for premium services - meaning charges would be applied.



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