Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Tech | By Amelia Peters

Google pulls games for kids and adults containing AdultSwine malware

Google pulls games for kids and adults containing AdultSwine malware

Fortunately, the security firm immediately informed Google, and 60 apps were removed from the Play Store that were infected by the malware.

According to Check Point, AdultSwine lays in wait once it has been downloaded until the infected device is rebooted, after which the malware contacts its Command and Control or C&C server to signal that it has been installed and send over data about the infected device.

The malicious code, named AdultSwine, also attempts to make users register to premium services at the user's expense.

The Google Play store, which comes pre-installed on Android devices, allows users to purchase, download and install applications from Google and third-party developers. 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.

The code could even do more damage, as Check Point noted that AdultSwine "also has a potentially much wider range of malicious activities that it can pursue, all relying on the same common concept".

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This time however, the ad claims that the user is entitled to win an iPhone by simply answering four short questions. In others, it would try to trick them into entering their phone number. According to Check Point, the instructions included displaying the bogus ads, scaring users to install fake security apps and charging victims for services they did not request or receive.

Check Point has a full list of the affected apps in its post on the issue.

While Google is actively scanning the Play Store for malicious coding and malware, there are challenges with keeping that coding out of the app store. Users should be extra vigilant when installing apps, particularly those intended for use by children.

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. We advise parents to verify that apps used by their children are categorized as "Designed for Families" on Google Play.

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

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