Malware displays porn ads, earns from premium services, scareware

17 January, 2018, 02:04 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • Google removes 60 apps from the Play Store following discovery of pornographic ads

According to Check Point, the malicious application will display an ad that claims that your device is infected with a virus, prompting you to download "a somewhat questionable virus removal tool" (probably more malware).

Inducing users to register to premium services at the user's expense.

The most shocking element of this malicious app is its ability to cause pornographic ads (from the attacker's 3 party library) to pop up without warning on the screen over the legitimate game app being displayed.

"The malicious code can use [also] its infrastructure to broaden its goals to other purposes, such as credential theft", explained Check Point. The fact that these malicious codes made it into the Google Play Store itself is probably the scariest part.

The malicious apps were discovered and reported by Checkpoint Security.

Upon selecting the 'Remove Virus Now' call to action, the user is directed to another app in the Google Play Store posing as a virus removal solution. To make matters worse, the application also suggested owners upgrade it to premium services, making them pay for them. In another screenshot, one of the apps that were taken down reportedly showed a full-screen ad with the message: "New Leaked Kim Kardashian Pictures!"

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In addition to displaying the explicit advertisements, AdultSwine also attempted to trick users into downloading other apps, including phony "security apps" that promised to help protect the device against malicious content.

Should you answer them, the ad will prompt you to enter your phone number.

Collectively known as AdultSwine, each application contacted its Command and Control server and received instructions on whether to hide its icon and which ads to display. The majority of apps infected are aimed at children, and some have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.

Google told The Verge that there's also a Family collection in its store that lets parents find appropriated content for their children. "Users should be extra vigilant when installing apps, particularly those intended for use by children".

You'd think that anyone with experience wouldn't fall for that, but again you should keep in mind that these malicious apps are created to target children who have far less experience with things like these.

A complete list of affected apps is available from Check Point.

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