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Joker malware found in more apps with over 100K downloads

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Last updated: July 7th, 2022 at 17:22 UTC+02:00

The infamous Joker malware has been spotted once again in a handful of apps that collectively have over 100,000 installs. This is not the first time that apps with this malware were able to make their way on the Play Store.

We reported back in December that an app with the malware was downloaded over 500,000 times before Google finally removed it. Security research firm Pradeo has found the malware in four more apps and has already notified Google of the same.

Remove these four apps from your device if you have them

The Joker malware is difficult to detect since it uses very little code and thus has a very discreet footprint. Over the past three years, this malware has been detected in thousands of apps, all of which were being distributed through the Play Store.

It falls under the category of Fleeceware. The malware’s primary activity is to subscribe the victim to unwanted paid services or make calls and send messages to premium numbers. The malware has recently been identified in apps called Smart SMS Messages, Blood Pressure Monitor, Voice Languages Translator, and Quick Text SMS.

These apps have collectively been installed more than 100,000 times. If you happen to have any of these apps installed, it would be best to remove them from your device immediately. These infected apps are able to install other apps on your device. This leaves the door open for the attackers to install potentially even more harmful malware on your devices down the line.

Pradeo has informed Google about these infected apps. The company takes timely action whenever it’s informed and takes down the offending apps. However, it would be much better if these apps couldn’t manage to be listed on Google Play in the first place.

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