Malware disguised as games shows porn ads; Google removes 60 from Play Store

No matter your thoughts on pornography, most level-headed adults will agree that it should never be targeted at kids. Unfortunately, new malware code is used in some games on the Google Play Store, most of them aimed at kids. The code shows porn ads - among other things - and has forced Google to remove 60 games to counteract the incursion.

The threat has been dubbed Adult Swine and can affect the software in various ways. It can display inappropriate ads from the web, such as those from porn sites, trick users into installing fake apps that supposedly boost security, or force users to register for premium services that they don't want.

Security firm Check Point found the code and explains how the ad issue works:

First, the malicious code contacts its Command and Control server (C&C) to report the successful installation, sends data about the infected device and then receives the configurations, which determine its course of operation. These configurations instruct it on whether to hide its icon (to encumber removal), which ads to display, over which apps and on what terms. It is interesting to note that the server however forbids ads to be displayed over certain apps such as browsers and social networks, in order to avoid suspicion.

The malicious code then verifies certain conditions regarding the device’s status and checks which app is currently running on screen. Once all its terms are met, it begins to display the illegitimate ads outside of the app’s context. If it is embedded inside a web browser app the ads will be displayed inside that browser, if not they will be displayed inside a designated web view.

The site listed all the games affected by the code and also contacted Google, which in turn, removed the games from the 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," a Google spokesperson told The Financial Times. We appreciate Check Point’s work to help keep users safe.”

Google Play Protect is supposed to scan software for malicious code to protect customers, but as code gets more inventive, some slip through the cracks, forcing users to report them. Google has said that it is constantly updating Play Protect to scan for more sophisticated malware

Below is a list of the games that were removed and the range in number of downloads, as Google Play does not give exact numbers.

App Name

Minimum Downloads

Maximum Downloads

Five Nights Survival Craft

1,000,000

5,000,000

Mcqueen Car Racing Game

500,000

1,000,000

Addon Pixelmon for MCPE

500,000

1,000,000

CoolCraft PE

100,000

500,000

Exploration Pro WorldCraft

100,000

500,000

Draw Kawaii

100,000

500,000

San Andreas City Craft

100,000

500,000

Subway Banana Run Surf

100,000

500,000

Exploration Lite : Wintercraft

100,000

500,000

Addon GTA for Minecraft PE

100,000

500,000

Addon Sponge Bob for MCPE

100,000

500,000

Drawing Lessons Angry Birds

50,000

100,000

Temple Crash Jungle Bandicoot

50,000

100,000

Drawing Lessons Lego Star Wars

50,000

100,000

Drawing Lessons Chibi

50,000

100,000

Girls Exploration Lite

10,000

50,000

Drawing Lessons Subway Surfers

10,000

50,000

Paw Puppy Run Subway Surf

10,000

50,000

Flash Slither Skin IO

10,000

50,000

Invisible Slither Skin IO

10,000

50,000

Drawing Lessons Lego Ninjago

10,000

50,000

Drawing Lessons Lego Chima

5,000

10,000

Temple Bandicoot Jungle Run

1,000

5,000

Blockcraft 3D

1,000

5,000

Jungle Survival Craft 1.0

1,000

5,000

Easy Draw Octonauts

1,000

5,000

halloweenskinsforminecraft

1,000

5,000

skinsyoutubersmineworld

1,000

5,000

youtubersskins

1,000

5,000

DiadelosMuertos

500

1,000

Draw X-Men

500

1,000

Moviesskinsforminecraft

500

1,000

Virtual Family – Baby Craft

500

1,000

Mine Craft Slither Skin IO

500

1,000

Guide Clash IO

100

500

Invisible Skin for Slither IO app

100

500

Zombie Island Craft Survival

100

500

HalloweenMakeUp

100

500

ThanksgivingDay

100

500

ThanksgivingDay2

100

500

Jurassic Survival Craft Game

100

500

Players Unknown Battle Ground

100

500

Subway Bendy Ink Machine Game

100

500

Shin Hero Boy Adventure Game

100

500

Temple Runner Castle Rush

100

500

Dragon Shell for Super Slither

100

500

Flash Skin for Slither IO app

50

100

AnimePictures

50

100

Pixel Survival – Zombie Apocalypse

50

100

Fire Skin for Slither IO app

10

50

San Andreas Gangster Crime

10

50

fidgetspinnerforminecraft

10

50

Stickman Fighter 2018

10

50

Subway Run Surf

10

50

Guide Vikings Hunters

10

50

Woody Pecker

10

50

Pack of Super Skins for Slither

10

50

Spinner Toy for Slither

10

50

How to Draw Coco and The Land of the Dead

10

50

How to Draw Dangerous Snakes and Lizards Species

1

5

How to Draw Real Monster Trucks and Cars

1

5

How to Draw Animal World of The Nut Job 2

1

5

How to Draw Batman Legends in Lego Style

1

5

Users of some of the more popular games had already flocked to the games' product pages to give negative reviews, including warnings not to download the games for your kids.

You can look at the full Check Point report on the code to get more details.

Source: Check Point via The Financial Times | Image: Check Point

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