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13 January, 2018, 05:28 | Author: Becky Perry
  • This is an undated screenshot of childrens apps in the Google Play store

Besides displaying porn ads, the malware could also try to trick users into installing fake security apps or to register for premium services.

Google Play has removed 63 apps, many of them children's games, from its store after "inappropriate" adult-themed ads would appear as a result of malware.

An individual or group of hackers created these malicious games under fake publisher names to distribute their malware and make money off the scheme, Check Point researcher Daniel Padon told CNN Tech.

The so-called AdultSwine malware, which displayed "highly inappropriate ads" affected apps reportedly downloaded between 3 and 7 million times. Some of the removed games have been downloaded over 1 million times, like Five Nights Survival Craft and McQueen Car Racing Game, based on the Disney Pixar character from the film Cars.

Afghanistan U19s All Set To Face Pakistan In Cricket Match
The Green Shirts lead the points table after registering back-to-back victories against Bangladesh and Nepal. The match was played at the Ujman Oval and the hosts were defeated by 7 wickets at the hands of the Indians.


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

While some ads showed pornographic images, there were other apps that displayed fake notices which that the phone had been infected by a virus and provided a malicious link to a fake virus cleaner.

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. "We appreciate Check Point's work to help keep users safe", said the spokesperson. This only works on Android phones as it uses Google's App Preview Messaging service that was first used with Allo in 2016, so trying to call iPhone users that don't have the app still won't work. The latter is particularly disturbing considering that most of these infected apps were games or drawing tutorials meant to entice kids. 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. It also meant to get users to buy worthless premium services, the researchers found.

However, with the number of apps on Google Play estimated at more than 3m, according to Statista, lurking malicious code is sometimes spotted and reported only by users or cyber security firms.

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