Porn clicker runs rampant Google Play

Security researchers find more than 300 apps on marketplace in last seven months

Android users have been warned to read reviews on Google’s Play Store to avoid downloading malicious porn clicker-type apps to their smartphone.

Researchers at security firm, ESET, have found more than 300 apps on Google Play in the last seven months, and the firm says Cyber criminals are continuing to upload further variants to the platform. These Porn clicker Trojans masquerade as legitimate apps notably games, and direct traffic to specific sites. In this case, to pornographic websites.

ESET Australia senior research fellow, Nick FitzGerald, said Google Play users should always look at the ratings and reviews of apps before downloading and installing anything.

“Looking at the ratings and reviews of these fake apps, for example, shows you very quickly that the overwhelming response is negative. Apps with such reviews should be avoided at all costs,” he cautioned

Considering how widespread porn clickers are on the Google Play Store, Fitzgerald said reviews alone cannot be the only defence against these malicious apps.

“This is not the first time these Trojans have appeared on Google Play; they are clearly part of a well-organized campaign. We should only expect the e-criminals behind this malware to continue updating their versions to find new ways to bypass Google’s security tests and to trick consumers,” he added.

ESET researchers found, on average, ten new porn clickers a week had bypassed Google’s security checks during this campaign. These porn clickers not only made it into the store, but they also successfully compromised user devices and have on average, been downloaded 3,600 times each.

The current family has threatened Google Play users since February 2015.


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