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Bad news if you’ve been watching porn on your phone

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David Cornish
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We're not here to judge you. You're perfectly entitled to use your smartphone for a spot of adult entertainment (just not on the bus, okay? That's just nasty).

But you might want to take note if you've been downloading free porn apps for your old Android phone, as Dell security expert Alex Dubrovsky has discovered a nasty surprise is lurking within. A sort of digital STI, if you will.

Hackers have developed a new form of lock screen malware - a malicious piece of software hidden within an app that can lock down a user's phone and even prevent the user from being able to delete the rogue app. 

Dubrovsky and his research team have identified that hackers are most likely to hide the malware in pornography apps: the user downloads the app, unwittingly giving it permission to access device administrator rights. On Android devices running 4.4 KitKat, this then allows the app to override the user's lock screen, preventing the user from unlocking their own phone.

"Based on some of the components it appears that this campaign is still in its early stages and will evolve over time," writes Dubrovsky. "It is interesting to note that there is no demand for ransom of any kind, also the fact that the victim can come out of this view gives an indication that this mechanism might not be completely implemented."

So, while this hack is still in its infancy, only targeting a small group of users running old Android phones and looking at porn apps, it could point toward more sophisticated versions of the exploit turning up on apps in the future (if they make it through Google's security checks). 

Best go for getting your kicks from an updated phone. Or just stick to Candy Crush.

[Via: The Register]

(Image: Shutterstock)

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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