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Pornhub users warned against malicious software disguised as official porn app

The programs are locking unsuspecting users out of their handsets, demanding a payout in exchange for their release

Android users attempting to access Pornhub on their smartphones are being tricked into downloading malicious software.

Cybercriminals have started disguising ransomware as the official Pornhub app, according to new research from security firm ESET.

Rather than providing access to the site’s library of adult content, these programs proceed to lock unsuspecting users out of their handsets, demanding a payout of $100 for their release.

Pornhub has an official app, but it’s not available on the Play Store due to Google’s stance on pornographic content.

This means that users looking to download it must go down alternative, less familiar avenues, unofficial app stores that leave them more susceptible to opportunistic hackers.

“Fake copies of legitimate antivirus programs used to be the domain of rogue AVs on Windows,” reads the ESET report. “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.

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“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’. After clicking OK, the fake AV, which is made to look like Avast, runs its scam scan.”

ESET recommends users protect themselves by backing up their data and avoiding unofficial app stores altogether.

The firm's report also includes guidance for users who have already had their handsets infected by ransomware, with specific variants of malware requiring different techniques. 

Independent News Service