63 games and apps on Google Play served porn ads

In this case, the hidden code inside the offending apps, dubbed AdultSwine, will either show pornographic ads from a third-party server or through the code's own ad library, Check Point said.

There are many reports where Android users delete Play Services because they don't know what it does and then they are left baffled to why their other apps stop functioning.

A number of Android apps on Google Play that could have been downloaded by children have been serving up an unwelcome surprise: pornographic ads. The affected apps have been downloaded between three to seven million times, the researchers citing Google Play data, said. But for precaution, Google said that it will display a strong warning for anyone who tries to download the app now.

When it comes to the fraudulent premium services, AdultSwine initially displays a pop-up ad saying that the user is entitled to win an iPhone by simply answering four short questions.

None of the affected apps were part of Google's "Family Link" program, which is the category of recognised kid-friendly apps available across Google's platforms. In a statement provided to ABC7 News, Google also says that "AdultSwine" did not exploit an Android security vulnerability and that users' devices were not compromised. "Users should be extra vigilant when installing apps, particularly those intended for use by children". Notably, the hackers used the malware to make the infected devices click on ads and surreptitiously subscribed the infected phone to premium SMS numbers.

According to the researcher's blog post, after an infected app installs on the target device, it waits for the user to unlock their device so it can begin its work. The feature has been created to constantly check apps as well as periodically scans devices for harmful apps in order to remove them.

While Google is actively scanning the Play Store for malicious coding and malware, there are challenges with keeping that coding out of the app store. Google has said that the company manually reviews ads and has strict category checks to help children have a safe experience.

Vanessa Coleman

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