Google deletes 60 apps, many aimed at kids, that showed porn ads

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One of the displayed ads.

Attempting to trick users into installing fake "security apps". Therefore, Play Services is a key core component to Google's premium user experience.

In addition, the hidden code can serve up scareware or other scams.

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.

"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. Security firm Check Point uncovered the malicious bug that showed porn in game apps.

The "virus removal solution" is anything but - it's another fake app. After the fake "ads" were delivered, users would have received a "Remove Virus Now" notification, or something similar, created to provoke users into downloading the scareware.

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There are some instances where the malware would prompt users to register for a premium SMS service. While the AdultSwine malware games only seem to display ads they receive from the C&C, there could be other unknown intentions of the attacker that are now unknown, possibly, credential theft. These services usually take the form of misleading popup ads claiming that the user has won a free iPhone or something similar. "We've removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers' accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them".

Researchers at Check Point found that 63 apps were affected. Duo users can now make calls to other users who do not have the app installed on their smartphones.

The security firm was able to provide a list of games infected with this malicious code and they have now been removed from the Google Play Store.

Effective protection from attack by these malicious apps, requires users to install advanced mobile threat defense solutions such as Check Point Zone Alarm on all mobile devices.

To learn how to opt-in and find more details about the program, visit the Google Play Developer Help Center.

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