back to article 'Mummy, what's felching?' Tot gets smut served by Android app

Researchers have found a batch of over 60 malware-carrying apps in Google's Play Store designed to rob mobile users or show them pornography, all with a kid-friendly theme. The malware, dubbed AdultSwine by security shop Check Point, was found in apps like "Drawing Lessons Lego Star Wars", "Fidget spinner for Minecraft" and " …

  1. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Facepalm

    And still...

    People put their entire private lives on these 'smartphones'...

    Banks offer people money to install and use their 'app' on their phones...

    Any idiot trusting a portable computer that's constantly connected to the internet, is easlily hackable and has no antivirus or firewall protection deserves everything they get...

  2. BillG Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: And still...

    That's why my Android is rooted and has a firewall. For the past three years I rarely, if ever, install a new app. My only approved game is chess.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: And still...

    Android security is utterly shite and always has been. Not to mention that like most other slurp products it's spyware by design.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: And still...

    you've clearly learned about the foibles of computers if your fallback position is "how about a nice game of chess?"

  5. DougS Silver badge

    Re: And still...

    So basically you use your smartphone like a flip phone with a bigger screen that plays chess? Hardly worth having a smartphone at that point...

    A lot of the worst Android exploits in the last year or two were related to receiving MMS messages and browsing. If you do either (and you really can't control receipt of MMS messages unless maybe you can disable it) then you aren't as safe as you think you are, just safer than people running stock Android phones.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: And still...

    Android security is actually very good, there are plenty of points here not mentioned.

    Everything is totally contained, uninstall the offending app, you uninstall its effects. Its not like windows where it's modified your phone and left it's payload.

    Playprotect will tell you have have this pretty quickly

    By default having a locked down store vastly reduces these sort of problems (but not in this case)

    Lastly, an most noteworthy, What on earth is a 4yr old doing owning an android phone and allowed online to do as they wish????

  7. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Re: And still... old movie reference?

    "how about a nice game of chess?"

    It's tic-tac-toe that's the really safe bet.

    Worry, if Global Thermonuclear War suddenly appears as a game option.

  8. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Re: And still...

    Everything is totally contained, uninstall the offending app, you uninstall its effects. Its not like windows where it's modified your phone and left it's payload.

    Can Sir tell me what happens in the case of an offending app rooting your phone? How do you get rid of that without a factory reset?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: And still...

    "Everything is totally contained, uninstall the offending app, you uninstall its effects. Its not like windows where it's modified your phone and left it's payload."

    Not true at all. Windows Mobile removes all traces of applications when uninstalled. Unlike Android where malware can root your phone via numerous methods and install persistent crap that you can't uninstall without a firmware wipe.

    Windows Mobile has a proper secure signing and vetting model that actually works. Hence why there has been zero Windows Mobile malware across many OS versions. And why numerous security companies and experts have publically stated that it's significantly more secure than Android.

  10. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Re: And still...

    "Hence why there has been zero Windows Mobile malware across many OS versions"

    I thought that was it wasnt worth writing malware for their tiny market share , which has been tending to zero since shortly after they came out.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: And still...

    "I thought that was it wasnt worth writing malware for their tiny market share"

    Microsoft had over 50% of the smartphone market at one point. That was quite a while ago though. Anyway they have now had many millions of mobile OS installs and users, and still zero malware.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Felching is when a man loves another man very much and they are in a relationship one of the men...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thankfully

    There is always Apple to fall back on..... mwuahahahaha

    (let the down votes commence)

  14. Paul Woodhouse

    Deja-Vu?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had that once.

  16. Ivan Headache

    I think I had had it a seconf time.

  17. Danny 14 Silver badge

    i remember seeing your comment before.

  18. The Dogs Meevonks
    Joke

    At least it's better than Vuja-De... the feeling that you're about to experience something you have before.

    But i think that these malware slingers were hoping that Scooby-Vu wasn't a factor either... Because that's the feeling that you'd get away with something if not for those pesky kids.

  19. Ivan Headache

    How come I type something, read it, post it.

    And it charges into gobblegook?

  20. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Pint

    "How come I type something, read it, post it.

    And it charges into gobblegook?"

    See icon :-)

  21. Teiwaz Silver badge

    At least it's better than Vuja-De... the feeling that you're about to experience something you have before.

    I can recommend a good Dairy Psychiatrist.

    Free pot of yogurt with preliminary consultation...

  22. veti Silver badge

    When a well composed post gets converted to toast, that's covfefe.

  23. alain williams Silver badge

    I learned a new word today

    one that I doubt that my mummy knows.

    Is this the start of a 'new word of the day' initiative by El Reg ?

  24. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Re: I learned a new word today

    Felching should be the word for what happens when some malware uses speculative execution to fetch stuff it isn't supposed to be able to access. (From fell as in bad, plus fetching.)

  25. Def Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Re: I learned a new word today...

    ...and I really wish I hadn't.

    On the bright side, not having an appetite ever again should cut down on grocery bills.

  26. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Gimp

    Re: I learned a new word today

    I recall the "The Day Today" came up with the term "newsfelch" (probably appropriate for Fox "News" these days).

  27. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Re: I learned a new word today

    Your real name is Dirty Sanchez and I claim my £5!

  28. James O'Shea Silver badge
    Gimp

    Re: I learned a new word today...

    "...and I really wish I hadn't.

    On the bright side, not having an appetite ever again should cut down on grocery bills."

    Heh. On a related note, perhaps you shouldn't look up 'santorium'.

  29. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Pint

    Re: I learned a new word today

    Bah, I learnt it yonkers ago on darwinawards.com - and will not post the details of that here on this family-friendly forum, because of special snowflakes. :)

    Beer, because we all need it.

  30. horse of a different color

    Re: I learned a new word today...

    Or look up Hoboken Squat Cobbler...

  31. The Dogs Meevonks

    Re: I learned a new word today

    It's probably worth noting that the US and UK explanations of what 'Felching' is... are not always the same.

  32. Mahhn

    Google should be sued

    Google needs to be hit with a class action lawsuit for NOT notifying people that they have downloaded malware - at least once it has been removed for their store.

    Google requires a valid Email address to get files from them, they make a profit from traffic on the site.

    Google playstore serves more malware than any other site on the internet, yet refuses to be responsible to their customers for the content they provide.

    It's time to hit them the only place they care about - their wallet.

  33. Rob D. Bronze badge

    Re: Google should be sued

    I'm not an Android user but I interpreted this as meaning users who have downloaded are warned:

    "We’ve removed the apps from Play, disabled the developers' accounts, and will continue to show strong warnings to anyone that has installed them," a Google spokesperson told The Register.

  34. Mahhn

    Re: Google should be sued

    I have yet to hear of anyone receiving a notice from google that an app they downloaded from them was malicious, None. I have followed this situation for 4 years now.

  35. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Re: Google should be sued

    Google needs to be hit with a class action lawsuit

    You're obviously such a hotshot lawyer, why don't you give it a go?

  36. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: Google should be sued

    "Google requires a valid Email address to get files from them, they make a profit from traffic on the site"

    Spot on! Considering the data slurping that Google do, it would take a lot to convince me that they don't know exactly who downloads every app from their app store.

    At worst, they should be putting in a "fake" app in it's place marked as being an update to all previously installed versions which can then warn the user if not actually remove it from the users device.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Google should be sued

    "Google needs to be hit with a class action lawsuit for NOT notifying people that they have downloaded malware”

    Ermm, sorry to point out your cretinous post, but they already do....

    https://www.androidauthority.com/google-play-protect-rolling-out-788614/

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Google should be sued

    Come on, get with the programme, they already do this..

    Yet again, more uneducated bullcrap from bedroom experts that shouldn't be working in tech (and likely don't, they just visit here during McDonald's lunch breaks).

  39. deanb01

    True Story

    Back in the day, a new guy was being introduced around the company I worked for. All was going well, until he arrived in the developers room. He was introduced by the boss, and one of my colleagues started laughing so hard he nearly choked on his coffee. He only told us why after the guy had left the room.

    The new guy's name was Phil Ching.

  40. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Joke

    Re: True Story

    At least he wasn't called Peter File...

  41. 0laf Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Googe gif search nastiness

    Other unpleasant weirdness..

    Just yesterday following a conversation with my significant other about coffee I put the word "cortado" into the Google GBoard gif search on my iPhone.

    I was expecting gifs relating to a short milky coffee.

    Instead I got fairly graphic gifs of people cutting their arms/wrists/legs and other forms of self harming.

    After 30min of searching I found some sort of feedback to report this behaviour.

    Checking now it's still doing it (not that I thought Google would do anything after my message). The only idea I came up with is that "cortado" means 'cut' in Portuguese.

    But why a UK English phone brings up wrist slitting instead of coffee I don't know.

    A normal google image search doesn't show anything like this.

    I'd be interested if anyone else sees behaviour on GBoard this or if it's just my phone that is fucked up.

  42. Danny 14 Silver badge

    Re: Googe gif search nastiness

    i think you need to clean your cookies somewhat as that isnt what appears in my browser.

  43. heyrick Silver badge

    Re: Googe gif search nastiness

    Are you sure you spelled it right when those weird images turned up?

    Google informs me "A cortado is a Spanish-origin general term for a beverage consisting of either coffee or espresso mixed with a roughly equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity." and the pictures are exactly what you'd expect, loads of cups glasses of coffee.

    BTW... I'm no connoisseur (I'm a Tetley man), but isn't that the same thing as a lattè?

  44. VinceH Silver badge

    Re: Googe gif search nastiness

    Meanwhile, if you throw the word into Google Translate and it tells you that in Spanish it means "chopped up" and in Portuguese it means "cut".

  45. Montreal Sean

    Re: Googe gif search nastiness

    My Android brings up a bunch of what I assume are espresso based drinks, and about 10 gifs in starts randomly placing cutting gifs into the results.

  46. tiggity Silver badge

    Re: Googe gif search nastiness

    Who knows.

    There seems to be more and more esoteric names every time I venture into a coffee place.

    I'm not a regular enough visitor to such places (as my wallet could not cope!) - only tends to be when on long journey and having a break before next section of drive, so long since gave up trying to keep up with name trends

    I just ask for either an espresso or a strong black coffee, depending on my caffeine needs / how long a break I intend to have (espresso if quick stop, "normal" coffee otherwise - as drink coffee at the stop, not when behind the wheel)

  47. Lysenko Silver badge

    It's just as well children don't remember the birth process...

    I mean, there's some pretty gruesome and explicit stuff going on there in glorious, technicolour close up. Given the catastrophic effects of such images on young minds (allegedly), any child with a prematurely active visual and memory system would probably never recover!

  48. Teiwaz Silver badge
    Joke

    Re: It's just as well children don't remember the birth process...

    I mean, there's some pretty gruesome and explicit stuff going on there in glorious, technicolour close up.

    When I was a kid, I suspected there was a room in the hospitals with eyeballs sitting in egg carton like containers awaiting construction into people (no idea where this notion, and why it was only eyeballs)

    If anybody has any idea, please let me know and I'll share the claim 50/50, clearly I got this horrific idea from something I was exposed to, and compensation is owing.

    I can't have possibly pulled this from an already deranged imagination at age 7 or 8 (innocence is fluffy and harmless after all).

    /cynic (in case anyone didn't spot it)

  49. stu 4

    santa

    Google - 'do only evil.'

    At xmas I noticed this behaviour with google (on google chrome on android, but I imagine it would be the same across the all google.co.uk at least (note this was on my sisters tablet - I use startpage an no auto suggest shite)

    - thanks to auto complete - type into search:

    - 'is'

    - google auto suggest 'is santa real'

    so - this is the number one mostly likely question - so likely just two letters pop it up as the default question...I mean there's one reason for this - millions of kids are asking google if santa is real.....

    ok I though - maybe this is a google easter egg - asking it takes us to the northpole or summit...

    nope - same shite google search result page as always (i.e. 80% adverts and paid promotions) but the first non paid result is an article saying 'no of course santa isn't real'

    nice. top work guys.

    I would imagine this xmas, google managed to kill of belief in santa in millions of kids in the UK, if not the world...old enough to type 'is' into a browser - your childhood is over.

    twats.

  50. Credas Silver badge

    Re: santa

    So you type in "is", Google suggests "is santa real" as a commonly requested search, you click on that - and then you're surprised and outraged that those evil bastards at Google provide you with an accurate answer? Jeez, what is the matter with people...

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