How It WorksOnce the infected app is installed on the device, it waits for a boot to occur or for a user to unlock their screen in order to initiate the attack. Among the different ways that "Adult Swine" affects users is by displaying porn ads within games, and numerous titles it appeared in were aimed at children.
Scareware - Deceptive App Install TacticsAnother course of action the malware pursues is scaring users into installing unnecessary and possibly harmful "security" apps. These apps have been downloaded onto as many as seven million Android devices, according to the researchers, and a number were targeted squarely at children. And that the games apps that were affected aren't part of the Google family program.
First, the malware displays a misleading ad claiming a virus has infected the user's device.
A spokesperson for Google Play confirmed these apps had now been removed from the store.
The "virus removal solution" is anything but - it's another malware.
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The apps were infected with malicious code called "AdultSwine" which as well as displaying inappropriate ads, attempted to trick users into installing fake security apps and register for expensive services.
Another element of Adult Swine is tricking victims into signing up to premium services and charging their accounts. Should the user answer them, the page informs the user that he has been successful, and asks him to enter his phone number to receive the prize.
The new strain, dubbed AdultSwine by researchers, was found in 60 Android apps, many with child-focused names - such as Spinner Toy for Slither and Drawing Lessons Angry Birds - by researchers from the cybersecurity firm, Checkpoint.
Collectively known as AdultSwine, each application contacted its Command and Control server and received instructions on whether to hide its icon and which ads to display. "Indeed, these plots continue to be effective even today, especially when they originate in apps downloaded from trusted sources such as Google Play", researchers said. However, since the malware can scour through a device and send its details to the C&C, Check Point said it would not be impossible for attackers to later use it to steal sensitive information.