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‘AdultSwine’ Android malware exposes ‘millions’ of children to porn

A NEW STRAIN of Android malware dubbed ‘AdultSwine’ has infiltrated more than 60 apps and exposed potentially ‘millions’ of children to pornographic material.

AdultSwine was first uncovered by researchers at Check Point security, who claim that the threat’s malicious code had hidden inside around 60 apps in the Google Play Store. These apps have been downloaded onto as many as seven million Android devices, according to the researchers, and a number were targeted squarely at children.

This is especially bad news at AdultSwine, once installed on a device, would display adverts from the web that were often highly inappropriate and pornographic.

“As for the ads being displayed, they come from two main sources; the first is that of the main ad providers, which forbid such illegitimate display of their ads,” Check Point said.

“The second is the malicious code’s own ad library, which contains ads of an offensive nature, including pornographic ads. All these are displayed to children while playing the game that the app is masquerading as.”

As well as throwing up explicit content, AdultSwine also attempted to trick users into downloading other apps, including dodgy ‘security’ apps that, ironically, promised to help protect the device against malicious content. The malware did so by displaying advertisements in the victim’s web browser that claimed the device was infected or prompted them to download an app to remove a virus.

Related: Malware based on open source Kotlin language discovered lurking in Google Play

AdultSwine also attempted to get the user to sign up for premium services, such as text messaging scams, which would charge the victim and generate profit for the attackers.

While many of the infected apps were relatively obscure, Check Point notes that a handful of them were popular. A game called ‘Five Nights Survival Craft’, for example, had as many as five million downloads, while a kid-focused app called ‘Mcqueen Car Racing Game’ had been downloaded one million times. A full list of infected apps can be viewed on the Check Point blog.

However, you needn’t worry too much, as Google said in a statement that it has removed the infected apps from the Play Store and disabled the developers’ accounts. 

“We appreciate Check Point’s work to help keep users safe,” a Google spokesperson added. µ

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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