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Monday, January 25, 2021

Google removes 17 apps with Joker Malware from Play Store

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Google has removed 17 applications infected by the notorious Joker Malware from the Play Store. A California-based IT security company called Zscaler monitored the 17 applications and found they were infected with the Joker malware. The infected applications include several PDF scanners, messengers, photo editors, and translators. Also Read – Google extends unlimited Meet video calls for all users till March 2021

As explained by Zscaler, “[Joker] keeps finding its way into Google’s official application market by employing changes in its code, execution methods, or payload-retrieving techniques. 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.” In a nutshell, Joker can steal user’s money as well as private information such as SMSs, device information, and contact lists. Also Read – Google Maps dark mode on Android finally rolls out

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List of the infected apps

  • 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
  • Blue Scanner
  • Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
  • All Good PDF Scanner

What you should do

While these apps have now been deleted from the Play Store, they had 120,000 downloads in total before the removal. In case you have downloaded any of these apps, you should uninstall them as soon as possible. Moreover, as Joker has the tendency to steal information, you should check your credit card and bank statement for any suspicious charges. You should also check your Google Play account for any unwanted purchases or subscriptions. Lastly, a security solution is always a good idea. Also Read – India may soon announce its own ‘Atmanirbhar’ app store as alternative to Google, Apple

Zscaler further adds, “We recommend paying close attention to the permission list in the apps that you install on your Android device. Always watch out for the risky permissions related to SMS, call logs, contacts, and more.”

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