The Android Joker malware has returned to Google Play Store after its removal.
In addition, there are seven applications that Android users should uninstall immediately to prevent further damage, including the Classic Emoji Keyboard.
What Is Android Joker Malware?
According to Teiss, the Android Joker malware has been widely utilized by cybercriminals. Based on reports, it was downloaded by millions of people throughout the world, allowing malicious actors to conduct large-scale billing fraud schemes in January last year. Since it is widely used, Google had to remove about 1,700 apps from its Play Store after discovering that the apps contain the said malware.
Despite the fact that these apps have been deleted from the Google Play Store after being detected, News 18 added that users may still have downloaded them and have them on their phones.
With regards to how it occurs, the said malware starts spying on the phone, in which it collects information and transmits it back to the hackers remotely, per Panda Security. Android Joker malware steals SMS text messages and contact lists, giving cybercriminals access to sensitive personal information that can be used for identity theft, fraud and other hacking schemes.
In addition, the Android Joker malware was reported to automatically subscribe consumers to premium content without their permission, which is much more concerning. These subscriptions could cost a lot of money, all of which have been billed to a linked credit card.
7 Apps that Contains Android Joker Malware
Since this type of malware has been proven to be dangerous, News 18 shared several apps that were discovered to have the Android Joker malware. With that said, it is best to uninstall and delete them right away
- QRcode Scan
- EmojiOne keyboard
- Battery Charging Animations Battery Wallpaper
- Dazzling Keyboard
- Volume Booster Loud Sound Equaliser
- Superhero Effect
- Classic Emoji Keyboard
News 18 furthered that an Android malware analyst from Kaspersky discovered the Joker malware first. The said analyst, named Tatyana Shishkova, resorted to Twitter to provide a warning about the stated apps as well as some malware-infected Android apps on the Google Play Store.
Payload:— Tatyana Shishkova (@sh1shk0va) November 11, 2021
Step 1: Assets\62vrr5qqq6
Step 2: https://fibvdk77pp.s3.us-east-1.amazonaws[.]com/agfwot6tm1 xor 0x70
Step 1: Assets\au8qs2zn3f
Step 2: https://opyv7s6tju.s3.eu-north-1.amazonaws[.]com/9dem32a6ry xor 0x1C
How to Remove the Joker Malware from the Phone
For those Android users who did not download the stated apps but curious to know if their device is already infected, Hindustan Times shared several steps to check and remove the malware.
3. Android users should examine their phone to look for suspicious apps. If they come across any apps they did not install, users must destroy them immediately because they are most likely contaminated with Joker malware.
2. Android users should delete apps that are not used regularly.
1. Lastly, Android users must also check any apps on their phone that have received negative reviews in Google Play Store. If it contains negative reviews, remove them and replace them with better options.