Google deletes 60 apps, many aimed at kids, that showed porn ads

Share

Raising the bar for the "Enhanced for Android Wear" badge is not only good for consumers, since it makes it easier to find higher quality apps for Android Wear, it also helps developers by making their apps eligible to be listed on the top charts for Android Wear, as well as giving them a chance to be featured in Google's curated collections on the Play Store.

Security firm Check Point noticed the problem in over 60 apps; they contained hidden code that can display adult-oriented content, along with fake alerts claiming a virus has infected the device.

The malware, dubbed AdultSwine by security shop Check Point, was found in apps like "Drawing Lessons Lego Star Wars", "Fidget spinner for Minecraft" and "Spinner Toy for Slither", along with a large number of Android games.

Check Point has a full list of apps which were affected by the malicious AdultSwine code, including Five Nights Survival Craft and a "Mcqueen Car Racing Game" made to look like a Pixar's Cars movie game, among many others.

In an email, Check Point said Google is usually quite successful when blocking malware on the Play Store.


Google Play, formerly known as the Android Market, is the official app store for Android smartphones and tablets.

One father complained to Google that the software had exposed his four-year-old son to "a bunch of thilthy (sic) hardcore porn pictures". "Indeed, these plots continue to be effective even today, especially when they originate in apps downloaded from trusted sources such as Google Play".

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 latter is particularly disturbing considering that most of these infected apps were games or drawing tutorials meant to entice kids.

'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. If the user clicks through, the malicious code eventually asks him to enter his phone number to receive the "prize", which, of course, is a ploy. Numerous apps are games reportedly geared toward young children.

Share