Opinion

Gotcha: New porn app takes your pic, locks your phone, then demands $500

If you think no one sees you click on porn, think again.
Thu Sep 10, 2015 - 11:39 am EST
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September 10, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – If you think no one sees you click on porn, think again.

Blackmail viruses are on the rise, and one called Adult Player actually takes control of your phone, snaps your picture, locks you out, and then demands $500 in an alert that looks like a message from the FBI.

Adult Player is a virus, or malicious software, disguised as an application for viewing pornography on your Android smartphone, according to the cyber-security firm Zscaler. They've even coined a term for it: "ransomware."

The ransomware demands that payment be made via PayPal "My Cash" gift card and promises to unblock the phone within 24 hours of receiving the money.

Other viruses, like Cryptolocker, are spreading like wildfire. In just nine months, Cryptolocker kidnapped the files of 400,000 people. Only a few victims paid the $300 ransom, but the cyber-criminals still collected more than $4 million.

More than 317 million malware applications were created last year, according to CNN's Money – nearly one million new threats released each day.

Stephen Cobb, a senior security researcher at ESET, said, "The bad guys recognize that Ukraine or Thailand – countries without effective governments at this point – are great places for doing this stuff. Dealing with the problem becomes a geopolitical thing."

And the security of the internet is being questioned, with new hackings of businesses on a worldwide scale occurring daily. The assurance of anonymity is hollow, as Ashley Madison customers found out in July.

Hackers released over 37 million registrants' names and account information held by Ashley Madison, "the premier 'dating' website for aspiring adulterers," embarrassing existing clients and frightening potential new ones away.

Pastor John Gibson was one of those "outed" by the Ashley Madison hack. He was not only a pastor, but a seminary professor in New Orleans. He had a wife and two adult children. Six days after being exposed as an Ashley Madison client, he wrote a note explaining that he could not face the shame and killed himself.

His wife Christi summarized, "He poured his life into other people, and he offered grace and mercy and forgiveness to everyone else, but somehow he couldn't extend that to himself."

Other exposed men committed suicide as well. Toronto police are investigating two deaths that may be linked to the Ashley Madison hack.

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It seems that internet anonymity is not so anonymous, and life is once again confirming the Scriptures: "Your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23).

There's no denying that lust is big business. Bookstores in America that sell pornography now outnumber McDonald's restaurants by a ratio of three to one. Pornography production worldwide takes in $56 billion every year. 

To regain control of your Adult Player-infected Android, Zscalser recommends rebooting in "safe mode" and then clicking on "settings," then "security," then "device administrator," and then deactivating the "Adult Player" app. From there, you must go to "settings," then "apps" to uninstall "Adult Player."

To regain control of your life, fill your emptiness and longing with God.

John Freeman, president of Harvest USA, says viruses are not the root of the problem. The root of the problem is not even pornography. The root of the problem is emptiness.

Psychologist Dr. David Greenfield discovered in a recent survey of over 18,000 people that a major reason people go online is to find intimacy. We're trying to fill our emptiness. 

Freeman explains, "The world's solution to the feeling that we are incomplete, or that our life has little meaning, is to tell us that sex will satisfy us[.] ... We have bought into a way of thinking that predisposes us to think pornographically."

Authors Brent Curtis and John Eldredge concur: "Whatever the object of our addiction is, it attaches itself to our intense desire for intimate communion with God and each other[.] ... Nothing less than this kind of communion will ever satisfy our desire." 

Oswald Chambers concludes, "There is only one Person who can satisfy the aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus."

Saint Augustine taught that "[t]here is a God-shaped hole in everyone's heart."

John Haney, psychotherapist with Crossroads Counseling in Austin, Texas, warns, "Pornography compulsion is a quiet epidemic that's wreaking havoc in souls and spirits."

Haney notes that porn addiction works exactly like drug addiction. "When excited by an image, the adrenal gland secretes a chemical called epinephrine into the bloodstream[.] ... Other biochemicals are at work as well such as serotonin, endorphins, adrenaline and dopamine which produce powerful euphoric states in the pornography user."

This emptiness begins to be perceived in childhood and can become intense in adolescence. Freeman says that parents need to address our common inner emptiness with their children before pornography becomes an attraction.

"As a parent, you need to answer the question as to why we have deep inner longings that never seem to be adequately met," Freeman writes. "Until our children understand why they can feel lonely in a crowded room;  until our children understand why they wish life had a happy ending like the movies;  until our children understand why they can be sad while opening Christmas gifts;  until they understand the core longing that is always there inside of them, they will never know how to defend against the pull of pornography."

Freeman explains, "We all have this deep inner longing and nothing in this universe can soothe it[.] ... Deep in our soul we know that things are not the way they are supposed to be.  We need to consistently communicate to our children that they have these inner longings that cannot be fulfilled in this life. This is not to create despair but hope, the hope in knowing that these longings verify the Gospel."

Freeman advises parents to direct their children's inner longings to God. "We can encourage our children to place their ... longings into Jesus' hands. There will be a time when all these longings will be fulfilled.  Know what you are longing for and you will not be tricked to fill it with [other things]."

We can do that for ourselves, too.

If you have fallen into porn, there is hope.

King David, a man after God's own heart, fell into adultery, but through deep humility and repentance, he was forgiven.

Saint Mary of Egypt lived as a prostitute from the age of twelve, spending 17 years seducing men for profit. Compulsively urged by avarice and lust, she one day got into a ship sailing for Jerusalem. On a whim, she thought she might go into one of the churches, but an unseen power prevented her from entering. Overcome with great fear, she confessed her impurity and promised to follow Christ.

She devoted her life to prayer and struggling against her demons. She spent 17 years in the desert, praying and fasting, until she was no longer tormented by lust and avarice.

Saint James the Faster was so close to God that he was able to heal the sick. One day a woman came to him, pretending to weep before him, but instead enticed him to sin. Seeing that he indeed would fall into sin, James put his left hand into the fire and held it there until it was completely burned. Seeing this, the woman was filled with fear, repented, and reformed her life. 

But on a second similar occasion, James did not resist. He sinned with a young woman whose parents had brought her to be healed of insanity. Furthermore, in order to conceal his sin, the saint killed her and threw her into a river. 

As always, the path from lust to murder was not very long. 

James spent ten years after that in deep repentance, fasting and praying and weeping over his sin. After ten years, he was assured of God's forgiveness when he prayed for rain in a time of great drought and rain fell.

A woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" The adulteress replied, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither  do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again."

If you have been ensnared by lust, then you have a battle to fight more heroic than any Hollywood movie. 

The only way to fight is to realize you can't. You cannot beat this by willpower. This sin comes out only by prayer and fasting. You must turn to God and His Church in confession, and begin fasting and praying. If you do, faithfully and consistently, you will overcome. 

God makes the following promises (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26;  3:5, 12, 21;  21:7):

"To him who overcomes I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God."

"He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second  death."

"To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it."

"He who overcomes and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations."

"He who overcomes shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels."

"He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God;  never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God."

"He who overcomes, I will grant him to sit with Me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne."

"He who overcomes shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son."


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