A security system called Google Play Protect is supposed to defend customers using Google's Android operating system from malicious codes by scanning apps for malware. All of these are displayed to children on a rotating basis while they play the infected games.
Affected apps include Five Nights Survival Craft, with between 1 million and 5 million downloads, and Mcqueen Car Racing Game, which has been downloaded at least 500,000 times.
Researchers have found a batch of over 60 malware-carrying apps in Google's Play Store created to rob mobile users or show them pornography, all with a kid-friendly theme.
In addition to displaying pornographic content, AdultSwine can also show pop ups that state a virus has infected the device, prompting the user to download another app claiming to be able to remove it. "We appreciate Check Point's work to help keep users safe".
Security researchers on Friday disclosed the existence of malicious code buried inside dozens of apps that displayed pornographic images to users. One user says, "Don't install for your kids".
One father complained to Google that the software had exposed his four-year-old son to "a bunch of thilthy (sic) hardcore porn pictures". Check Point notes that the bug's configurations also allow it to hide its icon to hinder potential removal.
Check Point says the "malicious code's own ad library... contains ads of an offensive nature, including pornographic ads".
When the malicious code is installed onto your phone, it waits for the user to unlock the device to start the malicious activity.
In some cases, the malware would also prompt users to register for premium services - meaning charges would be applied.
The malware, dubbed AdultSwine by security shop Check Point, was found in apps like "Drawing Lessons Lego Star Wars", "Fidget spinner for Minecraft" and "Spinner Toy for Slither", along with a large number of Android games. We also send freebies and lots of other goodies exclusively to our email subscribers. With the latest version of Google Duo, you can still successfully call a contact on your phone even if they don't have Duo installed on their end.