Malware Serves Up Porn Ads in Kids' Apps

Share

Once downloaded, the malicious apps displayed "highly pornographic" pop-up advertisements in a new web page, and attempted to scare users into installing fake security apps.

Check Point has a list of the affected apps in its research post.

The apps so far had been downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times, the researchers said, citing Google Play's data. Some of the apps include those that have been downloaded over 1 million times, like Five Nights Survival Craft and McQueen Car Racing Game, which is based on the Disney Pixarcharacter from the film Cars.

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.

'The most shocking element of this malware is its ability to cause pornographic ads (from the attacker's library) to pop up without warning on the screen over the legitimate game app being displayed, ' it said.

More news: Rain expected Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

OnePlus has recently announced a data transfer app called the OnePlus Switch to simplify data transfer between Android devices.

Although Google actively scans the Play store for malicious code, policing its vast, ever-evolving catalog of apps is a challenge.

In some cases, the malware would also prompt users to register for premium services - meaning charges would be applied. "Indeed, these plots continue to be effective even today, especially when they originate in apps downloaded from trusted sources such as Google Play".

The malware also sought to trick users into installing fake security apps, and could open the door for other attacks such as theft of user credentials, Check Point said.

Google points out that though the apps were geared toward kids, they wouldn't be found in its "Designed For Families" section, where the company highlights safe apps which are specifically designed for families and children. In a statement sent to The Verge, Google pointed out that it also has a Family collection on the Play Store to help parents find age-appropriate content and Family Link, a program for family safety that manages which apps children can use. Numerous apps are games reportedly geared toward young children.

Share