Google has reportedly eliminated over sixty kids games applications from its Play Store. These applications are apparently affected by a malware called AdultSwine. For those who aren’t aware, AdultSwine consists of hidden pornographic malware. This vulnerability was discovered by a team of security researchers hailing from the Check Point Software Technologies. They reported the malware code on Friday and Google was quick to respond to these claims.
According to a report published by CNET, the malware is known as Adult Swine – and essentially displays pornographic images which look like ads but are actually designed to prompt users to download a fake security software. The users were then encouraged to click on other links that they would end up paying for.
The search giant immediately removed all of these applications from the official Play Store. “We’ve removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers’ accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them,” Google said in an emailed statement. “We appreciate Check Point’s work to help keep users safe.” The company further added that the issue doesn’t exactly exploit vulnerabilities in its Android security system so the user’s devices are unaffected.
The report by CNET suggests that the affected applications have been downloaded over 3 million to 7 million times, citing Google Play data. The applications end up, not only encouraging users to download the malware but also pay for the premium services that these applications have to offer. The AdultSwine malware is also specifically designed so that it steals credentials.
“It did this by contacting the developers’ Command and Control server once the app was downloaded, sending data about the infected device and receiving instructions on what to do next,” notes CNET. The instructions included in the malware consist of bogus advertisements, which require users to download a fake security application thereby charging victims for services that they actually haven’t requested for or received.