Google Play takes down 63 children's apps after malware discovered

The games were found on Google's Play Store app
Credit
AP

The games were found on Google's Play Store app Credit AP

Google confirmed the incident to CyberScoop and a spokesperson said the apps were removed from the Play Store, the developer's accounts were disabled and warnings are being dispatched to anyone who installed the affected apps.

Checkpoint's on the malware warns it shows pornographic ads which would obscure the actual game, including one featuring a picture of Kim Kardashian - fittingly, the code is called AdultSwine.

Lookout confirmed Check Point's findings on AdultSwine malware and said their security software has protected Android users since April 2017. The phone number is then used to register for premium services.

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. "Along with encouraging users to download scareware and pay for premium services, "AdultSwine' also stole credentials", the Check Point researchers noted".

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"Google maintained that the issue does not exploit vulnerabilities in its Android security and that users" devices were not affected.

Talking about updates, Google recently published a new APK for Play Services.

Google Play Store is the biggest open source platform for developers around the globe to go mainstream by working on productive apps and games.

Infected apps include Five Nights Survival Craft (with over 1 million downloads), Mcqueen Car Racing Game (over 500,000 downloads) and Addon Pixelmon for MCPE (over 500,000 downloads). "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". The apps contained code dubbed "AdultSwine", Check Point Research said Friday.

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To combat the spread of malware through the Google Play store, Google introduced Bouncer in 2012, which scans apps for threats before making them available for download.

The data-stealing malware is also capable of other kinds of malicious activities such as performing click ad frauds, remote command execution and sending SMS.

All apps participating in the Designed for Families program must be relevant for children under the age of 13.

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