Google removes 60 apps from the Play Store following discovery of pornographic ads

By midian182 · 10 replies
Jan 14, 2018
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  1. Malware appearing in Google's Play Store apps isn’t something new, but a newly discovered piece of code proved to be particularly unpleasant. Among the different ways that ‘Adult Swine’ affects users is by displaying porn ads within games, and many of the titles it appeared in were aimed at children.

    Google has removed 60 games from its Play Store after security firm Check Point uncovered the malware. Its ads come from main providers, who don’t allow their content to be used this way, and from the malware’s own ad libraries, which are the source of the pornographic and inappropriate adverts. Back in November, at least one parent left a review complaining that his four-year-old son was exposed to the ads.

    Some of the ads use scareware pop-ups that warn users they’ve been infected with a virus. Clicking on the link to remove it directs them to “questionable” security apps within the Google Play Store, which could cause even more problems if installed.

    Another element of Adult Swine is tricking victims into signing up to premium services and charging their accounts. It does this through another popup that claims users can win an iPhone by answering some simple questions. If someone completes the quiz, they’re asked to enter their phone number to receive the prize, but the information is really used to register for a premium service.

    While most people will know not to click on the ads or hand over any data, they could have fooled less tech-savvy users and children.

    Google Play’s data shows apps containing the code were downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times. They included Five Nights Survival Craft, which was downloaded a minimum of one million times; McQueen Car Racing Game, based on characters from Disney Pixar’s Cars, and Addon Pixelmon for MCPE.

    Google has now removed the offending apps. “We’ve removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers’ accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them. We appreciate Check Point’s work to help keep users safe,” the company said, in a statement to the Financial Times.

    Permalink to story.

  2. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,577   +1,716

    Well if an app has to have ads that would be a selling point for me
    lostinlodos likes this.
  3. Nineveh

    Nineveh TS Rookie

    "Google has now removed the offended apps."
    Only the apps can say for certain whether or not they are offended, of course, but I think you mean the "offending" apps.
    lostinlodos likes this.
  4. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Addict Posts: 198   +118

    So what you're saying is porn doesn't have rights on the internet?

    I believe in the 1st Amendment.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,283   +4,188

    " “We’ve removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers’ accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them."
    No legal action, they will do this again with a new account. I know this is a game of wack a mole. But seriously do we have to leave all the moles on the board.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,283   +4,188

    Does the "1st Amendment" allow for someone to walk around in public nude? No, I don't think so. Even the stores that sell have strong regulations about hiding magazine covers on display.

    Edit: Dang I just double posted.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,717   +3,143

    Photos of Kim Kardashian, fake or otherwise, would be enough to get me to uninstall the app, and demand my money back.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,717   +3,143

    Porn does have rights on the internet. However, it has to be a voluntary action on the part of the user to view it. It also has to have a disclaimer attached prior to it being viewed.

    If we allowed your take on Amendment 1, you could also slam an ad for some skank being poled in the middle of a G rated movie, without regard, remorse, or consequence.
  9. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,092   +2,584

    Ohhhhh ..... a new spin on the old "undocumented feature" explanation .....
  10. MannerMauler

    MannerMauler TS Addict Posts: 199   +48

    While that may be the case, I often have to hit the back button because of how hard it is to press the dumb X on some ads.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,717   +3,143

    Well, some techies suggest the the "X" button, doesn't always equate to closing the ad. I say, "better safe that sorry", and always close the entire tab using the browser, while staying as far away from that nasty "X", as possible.

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