The notorious Joker malware has turned up on the Google Play Store again just after the platform banned 11 apps in July this year for being infected with the malware. Cybersecurity firm Pradeo has now identified six new apps that have the Joker malware and are on the Play Store, Zee News reported. The firm said that these infected applications have nearly 200,000 downloads
Pradeo explained in a blog post that Joker is a malicious bot that has been categorised as fleeceware. The main task of this type of malware is to simulate clicks and intercept SMS’ to subscribe to unwanted paid premium services without the users learning about it. Joker uses as little code as possible and thoroughly hides it to generate a very discreet footprint that is tricky to detect.
The six apps that have been infected with Joker malware and have turned malicious include Safety AppLock, Convenient Scanner 2, Push Message- Texting & SMS, Emoji Wallpaper, Separate Doc Scanner and Fingertip GameBox.
All these apps have been removed from the Play Store already and if you have them on your smartphone you should uninstall them right away, Pradeo suggested.
Google had identified Bread (also known as Joker) which is a large-scale billing fraud family in 2017 that identifies apps that are designed solely for SMS fraud.
Google wrote in a blogpost earlier this year that the Play Store has introduced new policies and have scaled up defenses and Bread apps were forced to continually iterate to search for gaps and have used just about every cloaking and obfuscation technique to try and go undetected.
“Many of these samples appear to be designed specifically to attempt to slip into the Play Store undetected and are not seen elsewhere,” Google wrote.