Adult Player, a porn application that has recently found its way onto thousands of unsuspecting victims’ Android Smartphones, has been found to exist for one reason and one reason alone: Blackmail.
The app is not available through Google’s App market, otherwise known as the Google Play Store, as it would never be able to pass their strict requirements, simply due to what the apps true intentions were. As such, people can only download the app by visiting certain, unregulated websites, usually affiliated with pornography in some way.
Adult Player is advertised as being a simple gateway through which its customers can easily access a wide range of free pornography from across the internet but, in fact, what the app does is very different to say the least.
As soon as a user attempts to install Adult Player, he or she is led through a series of “permission” forms, where the app requires clearance to access certain aspects of the phone’s system settings. This is normal with most applications downloaded through the Google Play Store and, as such, comes as no surprise.
However, once the app has been successfully installed and set-up, supposedly allowing a user to go forth and browse the internet’s rapidly growing collection of high quality porn, the app taps into the phone’s forward facing camera and snaps a photo of the person holding the device. The app then goes on to lock the phone, rendering the device useless, before displaying a ransom note, with the person’s photo attached, demanding $706 AUD to be paid via Paypal.
Experts warn that in some cases, even after clients had paid the ransom, the scammers behind the app still refused to unlock the phone in question.
Deepen Desai, directors of security research at the US cybersecurity firm Zscaler, cautions those new to the scene that, “there is no porn. The user gets duped, big-time.”
Adult Player is the second application that Mr Desai’s team has uncovered, which uses pornography to entice its victims.
“In both cases, the tactic was the same: Porn was used as a lure and required the user to trust third-party apps that weren’t vetted in an app store,” Mr Desai confirms.
If you have accidentally downloaded Adult Player or come to realise that it has somehow managed to find its way onto your device, Mr Desai suggests that you reboot your phone in “Safe Mode,” which will only give you access to the apps that originally came with the phone. This will give you the chance to go into the phone’s system settings and remove the Adult Player App once and for all.
The news of Adult Player and its porn-related cybercrimes arrives just a month after hackers threatened to release the personal information of 36 million Ashley Madison clients to the public – can we expect to see more crimes like this in the near future, perhaps?
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