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Google Pulls 60 Apps From Play Store After Malware Exposes Kids To Porn (gizmodo.com) 49

Cyberthreat intelligence firm Check Point on Friday disclosed the existence of malicious code buried inside dozens of apps that displays pornographic images to users. Many of the apps are games reportedly geared toward young children. As a result, Google quickly removed the roughly 60 apps said to be affected from its Play Store. Gizmodo reports: While they appeared as such, the pornographic images displayed were not actually Google ads. Google supposedly maintains tight controls on all ads that appear in what it calls "Designed for Family" apps. The company also maintains a white-list of advertisers deemed safe for children under the ages of 13. None of the affected apps were part of Google's "Family Link" program, which is the category of recognized kid-friendly apps available across Google's platforms. The malware, dubbed AdultSwine, is said to have displayed the highly inappropriate images while also attempting to trick users into installing a fake-security app, or "scareware." After the fake "ads" were delivered, users would've received a "Remove Virus Now" notification, or something similar, designed to provoke users into downloading the scareware. The affected gaming apps included at least one which may have had up to 5,000,000 downloads -- Five Nights Survival Craft -- as well as many others which had between 50,000 and 500,000 downloads.

Google Pulls 60 Apps From Play Store After Malware Exposes Kids To Porn

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Five Nights Survival Craft
    Mcqueen Car Racing Game
    Addon Pixelmon for MCPE
    CoolCraft PE
    Exploration Pro WorldCraft
    Draw Kawaii
    San Andreas City Craft
    Subway Banana Run Surf
    Exploration Lite : Wintercraft
    Addon GTA for Minecraft PE
    Addon Sponge Bob for MCPE
    Drawing Lessons Angry Birds
    Temple Crash Jungle Bandicoot
    Drawing Lessons Lego Star Wars
    Drawing Lessons Chibi
    Girls Exploration Lite
    Drawing

  • You have hundreds of billions of dollars in cash. Do something with it. Fix your sh*t.
    • The kids have to learn about feltching somewhere...
      Just kidding. I am still trying to figure out how this makes them money though.
      1. Create kid themed app, that shows porn.
      2. ????
      3. Profit.
      • Parents see that followed by a virus warning. They install fake security software and then pay up.

  • [example of fake ad from the article] [kinja-img.com]

    "CLICK ALLOW TO GET THE NEW PIC'S [sic]"

    Available buttons: "Subscribe" and "Continue"

  • I guess people are catching on to just the 'you have a virus' popup, so now they try to convince you there is a virus first.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Everything they put out is an unsupported piece of dreck.
    (Well, at least Gmail usually works!)

    No pride at all in their products, no oversight.
    If it's Google, there's an 80% chance it's junk.

  • by DatbeDank ( 4580343 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @05:00PM (#55918067)

    Children do not need phones, let alone smartphones.

    I commonly see this weak excuse from parents claiming they, "want to know where their children are."
    Seriously? You're that bad of a parent that you haven't the foggiest idea where your kids are? Here was what my kid was like back in the late 90s and early 2000s.

    Wake up - take the bus to school - school - sports practice - ride home with family friends - home.

    Here's what a non-busy day looked like: wake up - bus- school - bus- home.

    Wow! It's like somehow I was in the immediate vicinity of a responsible adult at all times and my parents knew my safety was ok. Mind-blowing isn't it?

    And to think, flip phones were a thing at this time too. I didn't get my first phone until I got my first driver's license which at that time makes intelligent sense.

    Phones cost excessive amounts of money on top of a monthly contract. Why should I pay extra cash each month to have my kid screw around on social media and have easy accessibility to porn at my expense? I had to work to see porn when I was a teen. Today it's too darn easy!

    Parents these days are weak. Tell little Timmy and Tia no you're not getting a phone. It's that easy! If you really want to know where they are (going against my entire thesis here), get them a cheap flip phone. Yes, they still make them.

    My kid the other day (he's 7) asked for me an iPhone and I laughed at him. I said back to him, "How are you going to pay for it?"
    Ended that question really quick.

    • by jeff4747 ( 256583 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @05:14PM (#55918173)

      Back when I was a kid, my parents made sure I had enough change to use a payphone so that I could call them if I needed their help (picked up from random location, got lost, etc). Of course, we were also allowed to go places on our own instead of your "only school and home" model. I intend to let my kids have that freedom instead of chaining them to an adult at all times.

      Back then, payphones were pretty common. So they were an extremely workable option for a kid to summon mom and dad if needed. Payphones are basically gone now, so another option is required.

      My kid's getting a phone not to track them or other dumb shit like that. They're getting a phone because I'm not willing to make them rely only on the goodness of strangers if they need help.

      I can either go buy a flip phone for them to use, or I can hand them my already-paid-for smartphone when I decide to upgrade. Not exactly a difficult decision, since one requires leaving the house and the other requires saying "here ya go".

      As for porn and social media, why the hell are you on slashdot if you're unable to work the easily-available parental controls on the phone and your wireless account? You'll also be missing out on the "I'm proud but I have to punish you" moment when they break those controls.

    • Need a Gameboy though. If not a phone then that.
    • I commonly see this weak excuse from parents claiming they, "want to know where their children are."

      Quite the opposite. My child will have a smartphone because I don't intend to helicopter over them and it is valuable for them to have tools that allow them to do things like look up public transport timetables.

      Wake up - take the bus to school - school - sports practice - ride home with family friends - home.

      Yeah, you could have just said you don't have kids.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Wow! It's like somehow I was in the immediate vicinity of a responsible adult at all times and my parents knew my safety was ok. Mind-blowing isn't it?

      You must have been a dull kid. Me and my buddies, we were on our own a lot. Not neglect-like a lot, but shooting hoops at the local basketball court. Or going up to the nearby lake. Or collecting list golf balls at the local golf court and selling them back to golfers. Or walking my buddy's dogs. Or playing in the woods. We had a wrist watch and a time to be back. And we were back on time, because otherwise they'd really worry. And that was probably more control than my grandparents had over their kids. If

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )

        Me and my buddies, we were on our own a lot. Not neglect-like a lot, but shooting hoops at the local basketball court.

        Didn't your parent's see what happened to the Fresh Prince? How could they neglect you.

    • These days, if your kid doesn't have a phone, it inhibits their socialization at school. Kids used to arrange in person when they want to meet and play after school, or sometimes just show up and ring the doorbell — now they text each other on some messaging app to arrange stuff. Kids used to invite to their birthday parties by passing around a note in class, or just telling people in person when it was — now they use social media for that. Kids used to meet up much more often in person to socia
      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        True and astute. The kids get devices from the school anyway (mandatory ipads). Putting your head in the sand and banning technology is not the solution, learn it. Even the stupid stuff like Echo (yuck).
      • Classic reply of a bad parent, "But think of the kid's socialization!"

        If their friends don't invite them to a party because of a lack of a phone, they're bad friends plain and simple.

        Secondly, how the hell are these kids supposed to get to these parties? Drive a car? They're 12 year olds and no, I don't live in a major city where public transit is viable. My kids' friends live scattered all over the town I live in.

        Stop being weak and do some parenting FFS. No wonder kids are a mess these days.

  • No way all these companies decided to serve porn to kids at the same time.

    Some package they all use was corrupted.

  • ...is that these corporations are allowed to push advertising to children. Either ban advertising to children outright, i.e. They're not yet responsible enough to make informed decisions and can be easily manipulated, or allow all children to vote in local and general elections: Paw Patrol party forms a new coalition government with the My Little Pony Party, anyone?
  • by jwhyche ( 6192 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @08:10PM (#55919241) Homepage

    Kids have it so easy these days. I remember we had to wait till the end of the month then go dumpster diving in the middle of the night when I was a kid to get our porn. That was when the gas station down the road would throw out all its unsold playboys and hustlers.

    Now all they have to do is download the crappy app and get bonus porn. Kids are so lucky these days.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      And that is just it: Kids old enough to be interested will get porn anyways, the others just do not care. The whole panic about this makes absolutely no sense. And there is nothing parents can do about it except teach their kids to hide things from them. Not good.

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        While I meant my post in jest, you do have a point. Our society does seem to be anal about protecting the little kiddies from seeing any boobies. I read a post a few days ago about a parent who wouldn't let her kid see Deadpool because it had a 5 minute sex scene in it. But she seemed to have no issue with body parts flying all over the place.

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