back to article Avast there: MEELLIONS of Androiders scuttled by 'adware' game app

Card-game players are being warned about an Android app in Google's Play Store that reportedly slaps adverts all over your handheld. The accused app recreates Durak, a traditional Russian game, and is rather imaginatively called Durak Card Game. Built by Pocket games Ltd, the application has been downloaded between five and 10 …

  1. SuccessCase

    Malware Solution

    No need to worry, I've found a successful solution for all Android malware problems. You can find a write up here. It is so effective, I've found it also greatly improves performance, battery life and the user experience in general.

    1. SuccessCase

      Re: Malware Solution

      <retort-defense>...and it doesn't have any unwelcome side effects like turning you into an arsehole, sheep or barista :) </retort-defense>

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Malware Solution

        Minimum Wage Barrista's can't afford the solution.

        Neither can most people so they just get on with life.

        1. SuccessCase

          Re: Malware Solution

          >zing-kaboom<

          @Steve Davis 3. That's the sound of the retort-defence destroying an incoming missile.

      3. Mephistro
        Devil

        Re: Malware Solution

        "it doesn't have any unwelcome side effects like turning you into an arsehole, sheep or barista"

        "Excusatio non petita accusatio manifesta"

        1. SuccessCase

          Re: Malware Solution

          @Mephisto "Excusatio non petita accusatio manifesta"

          That's actually a very good comeback but 5 hours later you are still to receive a single up-vote. I guess that's what comes of quoting Latin to Android users :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Re: Malware Solution

      @FailureCase - "No need to worry, I've found a successful solution for all Android malware problems. You can find a write up here. It is so effective, I've found it also greatly improves performance, battery life and the user experience in general."

      Similar to the solution I've seen for iPhone users who were being vastly overcharged:

      http://www.walmart.com/ip/Net10-LG-236C-Flip-Cell-Phone/29048520

      Save you about $800-$1,000 dollars, and you get 19 days of battery life. Plus, you no longer have to wear the latest skinny jeans.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: Malware Solution

        >zing-..,<

        >pssssffffft<

        @Andy Prough. That's the sound of the retort-defence missing an incoming missile, but fortunately the incoming missile being a bit of a dud anyway.

      2. Handy Plough
        Windows

        Re: Malware Solution

        Ha ha. You clearly have whit for brains, Andy.

    3. Shovel

      Re: Malware Solution

      considering how much your advice would cost, I suggest changing your name to 'ObamaCare'

    4. Triggerfish

      Re: Malware Solution

      Does it cause you to act like a smug twat, or is that more natural?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Malware Solution

      "Each time you unlock your device, an ad is presented to you, warning you about a problem, eg that your device is infected, out of date or full of porn. This, of course, is a complete lie"

      If it's an Android device then at least 1 and 2 are likely true...

      1. Robert Helpmann??
        Childcatcher

        Re: Malware Solution

        Each time you unlock your device, an ad is presented to you, warning you about a problem, eg that your device is infected.... This, of course, is a complete lie

        Um, doesn't the presence of these ads confirm that there is malware on the device? The app functions as a Trojan, after all.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Malware Solution

      The key to getting the best of both worlds where you are largely malware free and don't get ripped off on the cost of the phone is to have work buy you an iPhone. And unlike a BB or WP phone you then actually have access to a decent app store even for work and are happy to carry around a phone that is not butt ugly. If you have to be on call its an easy morale booster for many folks.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Malware Solution

      "No need to worry, I've found a successful solution for all Android malware problems. You can find a write up here. It is so effective, I've found it also greatly improves performance, battery life and the user experience in general"

      Presumably from your description it's "Buy the Windows Phone version of the same handset" ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scrabble babble

    EA Scrabble is better. Its video adverts sometime offer no way to skip, or interrupt, effectively taking control of your phone. This is malware.

    1. asdf

      Re: Scrabble babble

      Another reason why EA gives Comcast a run for its money for worst corporation in existence every year. The missus really loves Classic Words Plus a lot more as far as playing scrabble against the computer/phone.

      1. Handy Plough
        Windows

        Re: Scrabble babble

        Yeah! How dare they give you a game for free that has add in it. /s

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Handy Plough
            Windows

            Re: Scrabble babble

            So pay them. No more ads!

        2. MrRtd

          Re: Scrabble babble

          Several years ago, I had a Samsung Stunt bar phone, I bought EA's Scrabble outright and never had to deal with ads. Nowadays EA is more interested in milking you for your money than selling you an enjoyable gaming experience.

  3. Turtle

    A Fool And His Privacy.

    "Durak" means "fool" (noun, as in "a fool and his money") in Russian. So that's appropriate and conforms to all truth-in-advertising laws.

    1. eulampios

      linguistic etymology

      it's true, however, "Дурак" is also a (pretty plain) legitimate card game, as such, IMHO, it's not as intelligent as Poker or Preference. Quite fun to play though. The one losing in this game is literally said " to be left a fool", an idiomatic phrase, equivalent to the English "to be out in the cold".

      I think also that the original linguistic etymology of the Russian word "дурак" is Turkic.

  4. Michael Habel

    Using this App called AdAway... Its like I have no clue to what this Article is on about.

    1. Jes.e

      Using this App called AdAway...

      Yes. Adaway is very nice..

      ..If your phone is rooted.

      The main problem is that if you want to root your phone, you must wipe it. This is a good pratice so that if your phone falls into the wrong hands, an attacker can't retrieve all your information.

      The only problem is, if you've been using android, there is no real easy way to backup your information or otherwise get it off the phone if your phone has no external SD card slot AND YOUR PHONE IS NOT ALREADY ROOTED!!

      Sorry about the yelling, but at long last I did apparently find a method that does not involve two devices on the same wifi connection or the cloud.

      It does unfortunately for most, involve a Mac..

      In fact, this is the same problem as migrating to a new Android device.

      (Migrating from anything to a Blackberry 10 device does not seem to have the same issues however..)

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Using this App called AdAway...

        Have you tried using USB On the Go? I recall it's standard in Android now.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: Using this App called AdAway...

          Or ADB and a PC, for that matter...

          1. Michael Habel

            Re: Using this App called AdAway...

            Or ADB and a PC, for that matter...

            I know a lot more about this no thanks to my recent aqusition of a Google TV Box (i.e. a MXIII), and I'm not sure everyone's going to be willing, or able to download the entire Java Devlopement Kit + the Android Devlopement Kit... Plus its Dependencies which will chew up massive ammouts of HDD, not to mention the size, and possible duration of these Downloads. Just to get to a complicated ADB Shell which you have to get to from a Command Line on Windows. Add to this that the ADB Backup is itself a fiendish Command Line Command itself. And the poor Schmuk would have probably chucked his/her Phabelt again the Wall by then.

            Yes it does kinda work, But if your the kinda Person that can't be arsed to run a auto Root Script, or in other cases follow along to a well documented YouTube Video on how to root said Phablet. Then ADB IS NOT for you!

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Using this App called AdAway...

        "The main problem is that if you want to root your phone, you must wipe it. "

        Pardon? It took me about 5 mins to root my new Note4, no wiping necessary.

  5. Sebastian A

    The miscreants involved...

    will no doubt resurface as another company with a slightly altered name, and be able to submit similar crapware to the Play store with no problems. I'm no Apple fan, but at least their walled garden has fewer slugs crawling around in it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The miscreants involved...

      Just because Apple don't let you stray off the path and turn over the leaves, doesn't mean the slugs aren't still there.

  6. Whitter
    FAIL

    The Android OS is utterly crippled by poor permission handling

    I have very, very few apps on my 'Droid as the permissions are so broad-brush that in order to anything, every app can do almost anything. For an OS designed for plug-and-play apps, that is a shocking state of affairs.

    1. eulampios

      Re: The Android OS is utterly crippled by poor permission handling

      "..the permissions are so broad-brush that in order to anything, every app can do almost anything.."

      The apps can do exactly what the permissions would allow them to. Those permissions are transparent for you to see what they can do, they are also there for you to make sure they won't do anything beyond that.

      In particular, they won't be able to hamper other apps, write/read to/from places they are only allowed to, say in the registry of the system. Unless there is a special permission to read the sd fat32 card, hey won' bea able to read it either. I myself format my sd card with ext4 fs, which is a little pain in the arse, thanks to the the strange Google's sdcard-phoebia.

      Those permissions are to insure that the app's capabilities are limited and known in advance. We all know what happens with a platform lacking such system of permissions, we get ILOVEYOU, Mydoom, Blaster, Sobig Worm, Code Red, CIH, Klez, Melissa, Sasser, Bagle, Win32/Simile, Nimda, Conficker, Stuxnet (to mention just a few).

      On the other hand, if you think that permissions are "broad-brush", what would you suggest? Not allowing to set most or all permissions for apps, or require a valid photo id from every app developer just to be able to set them?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. eulampios

          Re: The Android OS is utterly crippled by poor permission handling

          >>What legitimate reason does a game have for access to my SMS messages?

          Ask this exact question to the game developers. Either way, you should ask this question yourself before installing the game. Perhaps, you shouldn't be installing the game at all. Google API makes permissions transparent to everyone. This was the whole purpose so a user could weight all pros and cons before installing this game.

          >>Therefore, I should be able to selectively disable permissions and see if the app still works.

          At least you have a way to see them, unlike with MS Windows (before Windows store)

  7. mANgLEr

    > "Each time you unlock your device, an ad is presented to you, warning you about a problem,

    > eg that your device is infected, out of date or full of porn. This, of course, is a complete lie,"

    Aha! I outsmarted you. My Android device is running Cupcake and is dribbling from the seams with porn.

  8. toadwarrior

    Google is an advertising company. I doubt they consider adware a bad thing unless it interferes with their ability to siphon data.

  9. Jimboom

    Does nobody take note of the permissions??

    I am all for a free game as much as the next guy, but if the permissions seem over the top, then I refuse to install it.

    People tend to forget that we did without these devices and being entertained every single second of every single day not so long ago. And we are no worse for wear for it. Some might even say we have better attention...... ohh look a butterfly....

    Ahem. What was I saying.... oh yes.

    So I refer back to the old saying. If something appears too good to be true ( a really good "free" game for instance), then it probably is.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    "eg that your device is infected, out of date or full of porn. This, of course, is a complete lie," Chytry writes in a blog post."

    Let's break that down.

    "that your device is infected", well if ithas this malware, then it is: Check.

    "out of date " Check

    "full of porn."> Ha got you, it's not full, still have some space left!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Android had so much potential as a platform. But, like so much of the internet, it has been ruined by the marketing people.

    Almost every app now is either constantly spamming you with adverts, spying on your data, or trying to screw money out of you with in-app purchases. Usually all three at the same time. It's like they are all written by the same scumbags that brought us the Ask toolbar. There simply isn't any good and useful software available for it any more. There is nothing but buggy malware written by people who can barely code and just want to scam people for an easy buck.

    Where are the good quality FOSS applications that we get on linux?

    To make it worse, there's no easy way to kill a process that's annoying you. Seriously, what is wrong with having a force close button somewhere in the interface? Why do I have to go hunting around in the settings app to find it?

    </rant>

    1. Indolent Wretch

      Well you don't have to install them. If you do then install any one of the number of task manager apps that the play store is full of and close the applications you don't want.

      Further suggestion:

      A) Get an Android dev account from google. I thinks it's about $10 to register and lasts for ever, unlike Apple there's no yearly subscription and any PC will do for developing you don't need to buy a Mac.

      B) Learn one of the myriad of Android development environments. Plenty of them, most are free. A cross platform one would be a good idea.

      C) Produce Android versions of the "good quality FOSS" applications that you get on Linux

      D) Release them for free on the Google Play Store. It's a completely free process.

      </dosomethingaboutandstopjustranting>

    2. Blitterbug
      Happy

      Re: Where are the good quality FOSS applications...?

      There's loads of great free and totally safe stuff to be had from the Play store. Click on the Install button, check the permissions; if it says anything other than 'No special permissions', cancel operation. I've ended up with some real gems by sticking to this mantra; no matter how tempted I am by a game's shinyness, if it requires internet access and more, it gets shown the door.

      1. eulampios

        Re: Where are the good quality FOSS applications...?

        "There's loads of great free and totally safe stuff to be had from the Play store."

        Exactly, (not sure about totally safe though), open source apps are aplenty. One problem with it though is that, it's not always apparent, if an app in question is open source or proprietary. One big source where all apps are free (as in freedom) is f-droid.org, which I wholeheartedly recommend. Unfortunately, not all open source apps from Google Play are there to switch to it entirely. Say, my pdf reader - the.pdfviewer3,Far on Droid - com.openfarmanager.android, PariDroid- org.libremath.paridroid, MaximaOnANdroid - jp.yhonda. To say nothing about org.adaway and org.adblockplus.android. All of these are not in the f-droid store (just yet).

        1. Michael Habel

          Re: Where are the good quality FOSS applications...?

          To say nothing about org.adaway and org.adblockplus.android. All of these are not in the f-droid store (just yet).

          I don't know about the Latter, but the Former has been on f-droid for a good while now,ever since Google dumped it from the Play Store. In fact its recommended to install AdAway only though f-droid so as to be alerted to the newest Updates.

          1. eulampios

            apologies

            Exactly, my bad. It was the other way around, Google won't allow ad blocking apps in the store. Those are in f-droid for sure. Adblock doesn't work for me very reliably though and has to be restarted when acting up.

    3. David.D.Davidson

      Where are the good quality FOSS applications that we get on linux?

      Here: https://f-droid.org/

  12. Unicornpiss
    Thumb Down

    Ban them for life

    Any company that is going to submit to the store needs some sort of background investigation, and when one is found doing this, they need to be banned for life.

    Re. Scrabble and other apps that play video ads, I simply kill the task (one button touch and a swipe) and relaunch it--only takes a few seconds and no more ad. It probably also costs the company that has authorized the ads a bit of bandwidth each time to log back into their servers.

    1. fishbone

      Re: Ban them for life

      if you're not doing anything important could you, like maybe run against Hillary and Jeb in fall '16?

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