Google removes 17 more Joker infected Android apps from Play Store

The dangerous Joker malware is still circulating through many Android apps published on the Play Store. After being reported by ZScaler cybersecurity researchers, Google has just removed 17 malicious apps from Play Store. All 17 apps had obtained over 120,000 downloads from the Google store.

The strategy of cybercriminals is in fact now well known — infecting apps that everyone likes in order to circulate their malicious codes as much as possible. In this case, the apps contained the Joker code, a virus that can hide itself very well and can perform various harmful activities on our smartphone — from spying to activating subscription services.

In the case of the apps just removed from Google Play, Joker followed the pattern of “WAP fraud, “ie telephone fraud using the WAP standard.

This spyware is designed to steal SMS messages, contact lists, and device information along with silently signing up the victim for premium wireless application protocol (WAP) services,” Zcaler’s Viral Gandhi explained in the post.

This malware is quite advanced in terms of camouflage ability. It manages to implement various tactics aimed at not being found during the security checks that Google does before publishing apps to the Play Store.

Google has already taken steps by removing infected apps reported by ZScaler from the Play Store, but this does not protect those who have already installed. Here is the list of apps to remove immediately, if they are present on our smartphone:

  • All Good PDF Scanner
  • Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
  • Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons
  • Tangram App Lock
  • Direct Messenger
  • Private SMS
  • One Sentence Translator – Multifunctional Translator
  • Style Photo Collage
  • Meticulous Scanner
  • Desire Translate
  • Talent Photo Editor – Blur focus
  • Care Message
  • Part Message
  • Paper Doc Scanner
  • Blue Scanner
  • Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
  • All Good PDF Scanner
Bhasker Das
Bhasker Das
Bhasker Das, with a master's in Cybersecurity, is a seasoned editor focusing on online security, privacy, and protection. When not decrypting the complexities of the cyber world, Anu indulges in his passion for chess, seeing parallels in strategy and foresight.


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