Google pulls games for kids and adults containing AdultSwine malware

14 January, 2018, 00:49 | Author: Julian Harrison
  • Google pulls games for kids and adults containing AdultSwine malware

The server then instructs the app to hide its icon to prevent deletion and tells which ads to display over which apps. "We appreciate Check Point's work to help keep users safe", said the spokesperson.

AdultSwine can also cost victims money by tricking users into allowing it to send them premium text messages that charge the mobile phone's account.

Android users can find the new option to call any of their contacts on 'Instant App' like experience called App Preview Messaging that debuted in 2016 which is part of Google Play services.

Check Point says AdultSwine could also easily be used for further nefarious acts like credential theft.

"Google maintained that the issue does not exploit vulnerabilities in its Android security and that users" devices were not affected.

Google Play store displaying fake virus scanner
Figure 3 Notifications shown to redirect users to download fake anti-virus apps

Update 12/01/2017 12:55pm ET: Updated with additional comment from Google. Some of the apps include those that have been downloaded over 1 million times, like Five Nights Survival Craft and McQueen Car Racing Game, which is based on the Disney Pixarcharacter from the film Cars.

Read our developer guide, The Family Playbook, to get tips on how to succeed with family and kid-focused apps and games on Google Play. In a similar way to the scareware tactic presented above, the malicious app initially displays a pop-up ad, which attempts to persuade the user to register for this service. Check Point has a full list of the names to 63 malicious apps here.

"Indeed, these plots continue to be effective even today, especially when they originate in apps downloaded from trusted sources such as Google Play", the publication wrote.

"Although for now, this malicious app seems to be a nasty nuisance, and most certainly damaging on both an emotional and financial level, it nevertheless also has a potentially much wider range of malicious activities that it can pursue, all relying on the same common concept", the researchers wrote. "In fact, the percentage of apps blacklisted by RiskIQ in the Google Play store has decreased, falling to a low of 4 percent in Q3 after reaching a high of 8 percent in Q2". The apps in the family program have not been affected.




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