In the period of two months between July and September, Google has removed 34 apps from the Google Play Store because they were inflected by the Joker malware that has been giving Android smartphone users nightmares. The Joker malware is not new but lately has been causing headaches for Android app developers as it is very hard to detect due to the little code it uses. Also, malware like these use a different technique called ‘Dropper’ to bypass Google’s security scan and sneak into the user’s device.
The most recent additions to the list of apps infected by Joker malware were revealed by Zscaler, a cybersecurity firm based in California. Here’s a look at the 34 apps infected by the malware you should remove from your smartphone if not done already.
1. All Good PDF Scanner
2. Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
3. Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons
4. Tangram App Lock
5. Direct Messenger
6. Private SMS
7. One Sentence Translator – Multifunctional Translator
8. Style Photo Collage
9. Meticulous Scanner
10. Desire Translate
11. Talent Photo Editor – Blur focus
12. Care Message
13. Part Message
14. Paper Doc Scanner
15. Blue Scanner
16. Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
17. All Good PDF Scanner
22. Push Message- Texting & SMS
23. Fingertip GameBox
25. com.cheery.message.sendsms (two different instances)
27. Safety AppLock
28. Emoji Wallpaper
32. Convenient Scanner 2
33. Separate Doc Scanner
The Joker malware steals money from users by subscribing them to the unwanted premium paid subscriptions without their consent. It first simulates interaction with ads without users’ knowledge and then uses the victim’s SMS messages including OTP to initiate payments.
This means that the affected user might not know that they have been signed up for a paid subscription service and that their money has been deducted from their account unless they receive a message or notification stating their credit card statements, etc.
According to Google’s blog post earlier this week, Android’s security team claims that it has taken down around 17,000 apps since the beginning of the year 2017.
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