Amid the prevailing risk of a crucial privacy breach and unwanted access to personal data, Google Play Store has decided to ban 17 apps from its platform. According to a cybersecurity firm, these apps were containing a malicious malware which was sending sensitive information of the users of those apps insidiously.
As per information cited by Zcaler’s Viral Gandhi the ‘Joker malware’ was designed to steal personal SMS, contact information along with device information. It was also signing up the users for premium wireless application services (WAP) without their knowledge.
Zscaler also said that till now almost 1,20,000 downloads of those 17 apps did take place from the play store which were infected by the snooping malware.
These banned apps included Blue Scanner, Care Message, Part Message, Direct Messenger, Tangram Applock, Private SMS, All Good PDF Scanner, Unique Keyboard, Mint-leaf message, One sentence translator — Multifunctional translator, Hummingbird PDF converter – Photo to PDF, Paper Doc Scanner, Care Message, Style Photo College, Meticulous scanner, Desire translate and Talent photo editor — Blur focus.
Such sort of malicious threats loom over many third-party apps listed on Google Play Store. Earlier Play Store revoked the access of six applications as they were found to be malicious by a cyber firm. As per Google’s blog post, Android’s security team has claimed to have taken down around 17,000 apps since the beginning of the year 2017.
The malware ‘Joker’ is present on lots of bunch of applications and poses a substantial challenge to Play Store towards security. In fact, in July also Google removed another bundle of infected apps from the platform. These malwares use a different technique called ‘Dropper’ to bypass Google’s security scan and sneak into the user’s device.
So, when the user downloads any joker infected app on her device, initially it would only ask for permission for access of sensitive information and credentials but do not perform any hazardous activities on the first run but gradually it drops its other components and malware through the app to carry out malicious activities. Eventually, users need to be vigilant while downloading apps and should check the scope of permissions, a particular application is asking for, to avoid any unwanted snooping threat.
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