BERLIN, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Security firm Check Point on Friday said it had discovered new malicious software on 60 gaming apps available to both children and adults at Google Play Store that displayed pornographic ads and tried to trick users into buying premium services.
Dubbed “AdultSwine,” the malware hides inside game apps that Google Play data says have been downloaded between 3 to 7 million times, Check Point said in blog posting on Friday.
The malware also sought to trick users into installing fake security apps, and it could open the door for other attacks such as theft of user credentials, Check Point said.
It said games and apps intended for children were a new target for cyber criminals that had targeted hospitals, businesses and governments in the past.
“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.
Check Point said Google took “decisive corrective action” to remove affected apps upon learning of the firm’s findings, disabled the developers’ accounts and will continue to show strong warnings to any users that still have the app installed.
The games included “Paw Puppy Run Subway Surf”, “Shin Hero Boy Adventure Game,” “Drawing Lessons Lego Ninjago,” and “Addon Sponge Bob for MCPE.”
Check Point said it expected AdultSwine and similar malware to be repeated and imitated by hackers, warning users to be extra vigilant when installing apps, especially those intended for use by children. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)