Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Joker Malware Found On Google Play Store, Uninstall These 24 Android Apps Right Now

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Pravin Kr. Chandra
A mechanical engineer by profession and a gadget freak by passion.

A new malware has been detected on the Google Play Store named as “The Joker”. This joker malware has been coded to steal SMS messages, Contact lists, sign users up for subscription services, and even can steal users monthly credit cards information.

Here is the list of those 24 infected Android apps:

  • Advocate Wallpaper
  • Age Face
  • Altar Message
  • Antivirus Security – Security Scan
  • Beach Camera
  • Board picture editing
  • Certain Wallpaper
  • Climate SMS
  • Collate Face Scanner
  • Cute Camera
  • Dazzle Wallpaper
  • Declare Message
  • Display Camera
  • Great VPN
  • Humour Camera
  • Ignite Clean
  • Leaf Face Scanner
  • Mini Camera
  • Print Plant scan
  • Rapid Face Scanner
  • Reward Clean
  • Ruddy SMS
  • Soby Camera
  • Spark Wallpaper

Cybersecurity researcher Aleksejs Kuprins explained the issue in detail in a Medium post. He writes:

“Over the past couple of weeks, we have been observing a new Trojan on GooglePlay. So far, we have detected it in 24 apps with over 472,000+ installs in total. The malware — going by the name “the Joker” (which was borrowed from one of the C&C domain names) — delivers a second-stage component, which silently simulates the interaction with advertisement websites, steals the victim’s SMS messages, the contact list and device info.”
“For example, in Denmark, Joker can silently sign the victim up for a 50 DKK/week service (roughly ~6,71 EUR). This strategy works by automating the necessary interaction with the premium offer’s webpage, entering the operator’s offer code, then waiting for a SMS message with a confirmation code and extracting it using regular expressions. Finally, the Joker submits the extracted code to the offer’s webpage, in order to authorize the premium subscription.”

Joker Malware

There are 37 countries in the target list of this spyware includes: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Argentina, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

However, Google has removed those 24 apps from the Google Play Store. But they managed to rack up more than 472,000 total downloads before their excommunication.

If you have any of these apps installed on your own Android phone or tablet—or, worse, you actively use them—it’s time to delete them ASAP. Check all your banks and credit card statements, contact list and other financial info right away.

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