The Joker malware is back, this time with a new set of infected apps. Despite public awareness of this malicious code, it has made its way into Google's Play Store yet again.
A new list of 16 apps is found to be infected. Read on to know more.
What Is the Joker Malware?
The Joker malware spies on its victims, steals information, harvests contact lists, and monitors SMS messaging. One of the well-known variants of malicious software, the Joker malware family focuses on compromising Android devices, ZDNet explained.
Devices infected with the apps containing Joker can be even used to conduct financial fraud. Once the installed malware has access to the device, it can perform anything from sending text messages to premium members or signing up victims to wireless application protocol (WAP) services that give operators a cut of the profit.
Joker can also abuse Android alert systems and once the user grants Joker permission to read all notifications, the malware can hide notifications relating to fraudulent service sign-ups, leaving the victim clueless to all the harmful actions being done right under their noses.
Being one of the more persistent malware families, the Joker operators constantly switch up their methods to bypass security mechanisms and Google Play vetting processes, researchers said.
The 'Joker' Virus Has Returned to Android: It Can Empty Your Bank Accounts Without You Noticing and It's Hidden in These Apps in the Google Play Store:https://t.co/kfwMUe7PnB#DataPrivacy #Android #Joker #Malware pic.twitter.com/2mlACWc3wB— Jennifer Davidson (@jdavidsondesign) August 27, 2021
16 Joker Malware Infected Apps to Uninstall, Stop Downloading in Google Play Store
The last time a wave of Joker-infected apps were discovered, Google was swift with taking them down. Zscaler's ThreatLabz warned of the return of the Joker virus. First discovered in 2017, a new batch of Android apps were discovered to contain the malware, Commentary Box Sports reported.
Research has updated their list to find at least 16 Android apps infected with the malware.
Google takes malware reports seriously and removes suspicious apps from their store. These apps are off of the Google Play Store; however, if you have these apps on your device, it is best to have them uninstalled immediately:
1. Private SMS
2. Hummingbird PDF Converter
3. Focus blur
4. paper scanner
5. Every PDF scanner is good
6. Precision Scanner
7. part message
8. blue scanner
9. direct messenger
10. one sentence translator
11. Multifunctional translator
12. Mint Leaf message
13. Unique keyboard
14. Fancy, Fonts & Free Emoji
15. Tangram app lock
16. Desire to translate
Last time, 11 different infected apps amassed over 30,000 installs before they were taken down. It is unclear how many victims were affected this time around, Commentary Box Sports said.
Should you find that you have downloaded any of these apps, we walk you through four ways you can safely uninstall these infected apps and troubleshoot the hacked phone.
With the Android operating system being a victim of multiple malware attacks in recent times, it is imperative to always err on the side of caution. Be sure to stay vigilant by avoiding clicking on any suspicious links from any e-mails, SMS, and private social media messages.
To make sure the apps you download and install are free of any viruses, we've also listed down five of the best android antivirus apps you can download.