Malware displaying pornographic material found in Google Play store apps targeting children

Malware that displays pornographic adverts has been found lurking in 60 apps available on Google's Play store, including some aimed at children. 

A report from Check Point Research has revealed the malicious string of code which they say could be affecting Kiwi app users.

According to data from Google Play, the apps have so far been downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times.

A spokesperson from Check Point Research told 1 NEWS that this malware was across the Google Play store globally, and it's likely New Zealanders have been exposed too.

"These apps could have absolutely been downloaded in New Zealand".

Dubbed AdultSwine, the malicious string of code wreaks havoc in three possible ways:

1. Displaying ads from the web that are often highly inappropriate and pornographic.

2. Attempting to trick users into installing fake security apps.

3. Inducing users to register to premium services at the user's expense.

Infected apps include ones themed around the highly popular Minecraft kids game, as well as a variety of games featuring Disney characters.

Several Android phone users have taken to the Google Play store to complain about the apps.

"Don't install for your kids. I did and my son opened it and a bunch of filthy hard-core porn pictures popped up," one user wrote.

"Some of the ads try and make you believe your device has a virus," another commented.

Google says it has now removed all the compromised apps from the Play store.

Hacker using laptop. Lots of digits on the computer screen.
File picture Source: istock.com

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