Google removed roughly 60 apps that contained hidden pornographic malware from its Play Store after a security research company found the code. Many of the games were aimed at kids.
Researchers at Check Point Software Technologies reported the malware on Friday. Dubbed AdultSwine, the malware displayed pornographic images that looked like ads but were designed to prompt users to download fake security software. The users were then encouraged to click on other links they would have to pay for.
Google moved immediately to kick the apps off of Google Play.
“We’ve removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers’ accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them,” Google said in an emailed statement. “We appreciate Check Point’s work to help keep users safe.” Google added that the issue doesn’t exploit vulnerabilities in its Android security, and that users’ devices weren’t affected.
The affected apps have so far been downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times, the researchers said, citing Google Play data.
Along with encouraging users to download scareware and pay for premium services, AdultSwine also stole credentials, according to Check Point.
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.