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Android Ransomware App Highlights Google Porn Ban Problem

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Now that’s not nice. Virus seduces Android users into downloading fake Pornhub app and then demands ransom

Android users beware after security experts warned that users attempting to access Pornhub on their smartphones are being tricked into downloading malicious software.

And even worse, the ESET researchers warned that the ransonware will lock the phone and demand a ransom to unlock their device.

The infection highlights the problem caused when major software companies ban adult apps on their app stores.

android porn apps

Ransomware App

The issue came to light in a whitepaper from ESET, which documented the ransomware trends in 2016.

It seems that the problem stems from the fact that Google doesn’t allow pornographic apps to feature on its Pay Store.

This is despite the fact there is an official Pornhub Android app, but it is not allowed to be on the Play store because of Google’s policy on porn.

This means that Android users are tempted to download alternatives from untrusted distributors, and users are being tricked into downloading a ransomware app that contains virus like characteristics.

“Curiously, the malware, detected by ESET as Android/FakeAV.E also abuses another well-known brand: it spreads by pretending to be a mobile app for the adult video website PornHub,” ESET noted.

“When the app is launched, instead of showing pornographic videos, it shows the user a message that says the device must first be ‘checked for viruses’,” noted EST. “After clicking OK, the fake AV, which is made to look like Avast, runs its scam scan.”

“The narrative in this fraud is rather odd,” it wrote. “First, the message shown by the fake Avast GUI states that the ‘device is in danger and is now blocked for security reasons’ and that a Pro version must be bought.”

The user is then locked out of their device until they pay $100 in Bitcoin to regain access.

Android Ransomware

Android ransomware is nothing new. And Android has a pretty terrible reputation when it comes to security.

And it is not just rogue apps found on third party app stores that are responsible. Earlier this year Check Point revealed a new piece of ransomware called “Charger”, which was downloaded via an infected Android app on the Google Play store.

Unforunately, infected applications are regularly found on the Play Store in spite of Google’s security screening processes.

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