Based on a user’s review on one of the apps, AdultSwine has been around since November, and a closer look revealed that it can do more than show inappropriate advertisements. When you launch one of its host apps — you can see the full list here — the code sends info back to its server, which chooses between three actions to take. In addition to serving porn ads, it could also display fake malware notifications designed to fool you into installing a security app that’s loaded with actual malware. Or, to trick you into registering for premium services charged to your account.
Thankfully, Google has quickly collaborated with Check Point to pull the host apps off the Play store. The big G also disabled the developers’ accounts and will issue what it says are “strong warnings” to users who installed the 63 apps. And there are lots of them, since the applications were downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times.
Google has systems in place meant to prevent apps with shady programs like these from making it to the Play Store and into people’s phones. Thisisn’t the first time those systems didn’t work, but the fact that the host apps were something kids would download makes this scheme extra egregious.