Google Play takes down 63 children's apps after malware discovered

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Google Play takes down 63 children's apps after malware discovered

Raising the bar for the "Enhanced for Android Wear" badge is not only good for consumers, since it makes it easier to find higher quality apps for Android Wear, it also helps developers by making their apps eligible to be listed on the top charts for Android Wear, as well as giving them a chance to be featured in Google's curated collections on the Play Store.

Researchers at security company Check Point Software Technologies on Friday found pornographic malware hiding inside about 60 games apps, many of which were intended for kids.

Researchers at Check Point found that 63 apps were affected.

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.

In an email, Check Point said Google is usually quite successful when blocking malware on the Play Store.

Although Google actively scans the Play store for malicious code, policing its vast, ever-evolving catalog of apps is a challenge.

The malware also sought to trick users into installing fake security apps, and could open the door for other attacks such as theft of user credentials, Check Point said.

The code could even do more damage, as Check Point noted that AdultSwine "also has a potentially much wider range of malicious activities that it can pursue, all relying on the same common concept". Google Play is the only way to download and install applications on Android devices without changing the device's application setting to "allow the installation of non-market applications".

Last year, an outcry over disturbing videos aimed at children forced YouTube to terminate the channel ToyFreaks, where a father posted clips of his young daughters screaming in terror, which had gained 8 million followers. "Should the user answer them, the malicious code informs the user that he has been successful, and asks him to enter his phone number to receive the prize".

The malware also attempts to lure unsuspecting patrons into registering for fake premium services.

"We advise parents to verify that apps used by their children are categorized as 'Designed for Families" on Google Play'.

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