Google Play Services 11.9.73 Beta APK is Now Available to Download

by Edgar Hayes January 14, 2018, 1:15
Google Play Services 11.9.73 Beta APK is Now Available to Download

New malware on the Google Play Store was downloaded more than 3 million times, hiding inside almost 70 different game apps seemingly intended for kids and teens, say researchers from Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Technologies.

Google moved quickly on Friday to remove the roughly 60 apps said to be affected from its Play Store.

A number of Android apps on Google Play that could have been downloaded by children have been serving up an unwelcome surprise: pornographic ads.

Google confirmed the incident to CyberScoop and a spokesperson said the apps were removed from the Play Store, the developer's accounts were disabled and warnings are being dispatched to anyone who installed the affected apps.

While some ads showed pornographic images, there were other apps that displayed fake notices which that the phone had been infected by a virus and provided a malicious link to a fake virus cleaner. After a download, the app only had to wait for a reboot, or for the user to unlock their screen, to start sending information back to a command and control server, which would then serve the ads.

Check Point researchers said at least one review left by a parent on Google Play's store in November had complained about pornographic pictures, which had appeared when his four-year-old was playing a game. "We appreciate Check Point's work to help keep users safe".

The full list of infected apps can be found on Check Point's website.

Figure 3: Notifications shown to redirect users to download fake anti-virus apps. The bug also leads user towards signing up for premium services that charge the user's account for their services. These services usually take the form of misleading popup ads claiming that the user has won a free iPhone or something similar.

Google moved immediately to kick the apps off of Google Play.

It should be noted, none of the apps in Google's Family collection had Adult Swine hidden in their codebase.

Effective protection from attack by these malicious apps, requires users to install advanced mobile threat defense solutions such as Check Point Zone Alarm on all mobile devices.

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