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Malicious Android Porn Apps Get 1 Million Google Play Downloads

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Regretting downloading “Porn Sexy Models Wallpaper” now?

Yet more threats facing Android have emerged, with millions downloading risky pornographic apps from the official Google Play store, whilst researchers claim 99 percent of all mobile threats in 2012 targeted the operating system.

Security giant Symantec found the apps – “Porn Sexy Models Wallpaper”, “Porn Sexy Girls Live Wallpaper”, and “Sexy Girls Ass Live Wallpaper” – were downloaded between 500,000 and 1.5 million times before they were thrown out of Google Play.

Described as the Android.CoolPaperLeak Trojans, the rogue apps pilfered users’ Google email address, their GPS coordinates and the IMEI number of the infected phone, sending all the data back to a remote server.

Google Play porn problemandroid porn apps

Whilst the apps did send over salacious pictures of scantily-clad ladies, they also packed in a load of ads, designed to make the developers some money for their troubles. The apps sneakily access other ad servers, without showing them to the user, again for financial benefit for the devs.

Symantec said that even though it is against Google rules to upload content with “pornography, obscenity, nudity, or sexual activity,” developers will find ways to circumvent the controls on the Android marketplace.

“The pictures displayed on the Google Play page are acceptable and their description too. But once you browse the wallpapers within the apps, you will find a complete set of pornographic pictures,” a blog post from Symantec read.

Meanwhile, Kaspersky research has shown that an astounding 99 percent of newly discovered mobile malware that emerged in 2012 was Android-based.

Last year, the number of known malicious samples for Android increased more than eight times, as Kaspersky recorded 6,300 new mobile malware samples every month.

In December, Trend Micro reported on a whopping 455 malicious apps it found on Google Play. Apple’s App Store, by comparison, has managed to avoid vast swathes of dodgy applications, largely because its vetting process is more in-depth.

Whilst Google has been vigilant in quickly removing dirty apps from its official store, its Bouncer technology, designed to scan Google Play for malware, has not been successful in catching sneaky bits of kit.

“Bouncer is only as effective as the scanner(s) Google uses to scan apps,” David Emm, senior researcher at Kaspersky Lab , told TechWeekEurope.  “That’s why it’s important that people protect their smartphones, rather than simply relying on Google filtering content at source.

Image from Android News Gator.

“In fairness, Google doesn’t just rely on Bouncer, but also tries to screen those who wish to publish apps and includes the sandbox within the Android operating system. Clearly, Google Play isn’t the only concern here, since it’s possible to download apps from other sources.”

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  1. Symantic did the public a good job of disaproving the porn app. Hidden resources inside apps are the tactics of hackers and as soon as GOOGLE lets them in, there goes internet passwords and private information. Somehow, no one seems to notice this.