Android Porn App Takes Pictures of Users to Blackmail Them

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A malicious Android app is attempting to extort unsuspecting users by snapping their picture and holding it for ransom.

Uppercase-U-icon-0926020428sers of Adult Player get a nasty surprise upon booting it up for the first time. The supposed porn app snaps a picture using the phone’s front-facing camera, locks the device, claims to be filing an FBI case, and demands $500.00 in ransom. U.S. security firm Zscaler were among the first to notice Adult Player circulating, and have warned Android users to avoid installing the software.

Adult Player is not available through mainstream channels like the Google Play store, instead joining the thousands of apps available through non-official sources—the very open-source, community driven apps that some users say gives Android software an edge over competitors like Apple’s iOS.

porn app
The ransom notice from Adult Player. Screenshot provided by The Stack.

Zscaler says there’s no indication that paying the ransom results in the unlocking of your device. Instead, they offer some simple instructions for uninstalling the malware.

  • Boot device into safe mode (Please note that entering “safe mode” varies depending on your device). Safe mode boots the device with default settings without running third party apps.
  • Uninstalling ransomware from device requires you to first remove administrator privilege. Go to Settings –> Security –> Device Administrator and select ransomware app, then deactivate.
  • Once this is done, you can go to Settings –> Apps –> Uninstall ransomware app.

Before installation, Adult Player requests admin rights. This should be a red flag for the more tech-savvy of us, but might go unnoticed by average Android users. This type of “ransomware” has been a growing concern on Android devices. Much like the security trade-offs of early Windows operating systems, Android’s ability to run custom software comes with a price: malicious programs. Once again, Apple offers an operating system generally free of malware, but with a more tightly regulated selection of apps. It’s an interesting microcosm of the security discussions taking place in the ’90s and early oughts.


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Author: Timothy Bertrand

Writer and journalist living in the Houston, Texas area. Follow me for breaking news, editorials, pictures of cats doing human activities, and other such content from around the web.


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