Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

Google Duo update allows you to call people without the app installed

Google Duo update allows you to call people without the app installed

"We have removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers' accounts and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them".

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.

Lookout confirmed Check Point's findings on AdultSwine malware and said their security software has protected Android users since April 2017. Or, to trick you into registering for premium services charged to your account.

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The Google Play store, which comes pre-installed on Android devices, allows users to purchase, download and install applications from Google and third-party developers. "Along with encouraging users to download scareware and pay for premium services, "AdultSwine' also stole credentials", the Check Point researchers noted". However, the security firm warns that this malicious activity might not end here.

"Should the user press the notification of "Remove Virus Now" he is redirected to an app in the Google Play Store with a somewhat questionable connection to virus removal", said the researchers in an analysis.

Update 12/01/2017 12:55pm ET: Updated with additional comment from Google.

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Infected apps include Five Nights Survival Craft (with over 1 million downloads), Mcqueen Car Racing Game (over 500,000 downloads) and Addon Pixelmon for MCPE (over 500,000 downloads).

Fortunately, Google has already removed the fake malware-laced Swift Cleaner app from the Google Play Store. While the AdultSwine malware games only seem to display ads they receive from the C&C, there could be other unknown intentions of the attacker that are now unknown, possibly, credential theft.

Malicious code named "AdultSwine" was hidden in the affected apps, as Check Point Researchers discovered. According to Check Point, the instructions included displaying the bogus ads, scaring users to install fake security apps and charging victims for services they did not request or receive.

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The new policy would require apps to work as standalone Wear apps and force Wear APKs to be uploaded to the Play Store as a multi-APK instead of bundling them within phone apps. The apps in the family program have not been affected.

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