Google pulls games for kids and adults containing AdultSwine malware

Time for a conversation about dictionaries at the very least

Security firm Check Point noticed the problem in over 60 apps; they contained hidden code that can display adult-oriented content, along with fake alerts claiming a virus has infected the device.

The malware, dubbed AdultSwine by security shop Check Point, was found in apps like "Drawing Lessons Lego Star Wars", "Fidget spinner for Minecraft" and "Spinner Toy for Slither", along with a large number of Android games.

In a statement (via Gizmodo), Google confirmed the apps have been removed from the Play Store.

Google on Friday morning has disabled the developers' accounts and "will show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them".

A complete list of the affected apps is available in Check Point's report.

Scare users into installing fake "security apps".

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After Check Point informed Google about the malware, the tech giant worked with the security firm and deleted the apps right away, Check Point said.

It does this by contacting the developers' Command and Control server once the app has been downloaded, sends data about the infected device and gets back instructions on what to do next. "Should the user answer them, the malicious code informs the user that he has been successful, and asks him to enter his phone number to receive the prize". Android users should also consider using Google Play Protect, which is created to scan apps daily for issues.

The most shocking element of this malware is that it is capable of causing pornographic ads from the attacker's ad library to pop up on the screen without warning, above legitimate game apps.

If the victim selects the "remove virus now" option, the malware directs the victim to another malicious app in the Google Play Store posing as a virus removal tool.

"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", Check Point warned.

"Due to the pervasive use of mobile apps, AdultSwine and other similar malicious apps are likely to be continually repeated and imitated by hackers", the researchers said in a blog post.

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