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Android’s Google Play Store removes 17 apps infected with malware: Check if you have any

This spyware is designed to steal SMS messages, contact lists, and device information along with silently signing up the victim for premium services. Photo: iStockPremium
This spyware is designed to steal SMS messages, contact lists, and device information along with silently signing up the victim for premium services. Photo: iStock

  • Joker is one of the most prominent malware families that continually targets Android devices
  • Despite awareness of this particular malware, it keeps finding its way into Google’s official application market by employing changes in its code

A few Android apps seem to be plagued with new malware and they have been taken down from the Google Play Store. A total of 17 applications were found to be infected by the Joker malware. The set of applications were discovered by security researchers at a California-based IT security company called Zscaler.

According to the statement released by the organisation, these 17 application were downloaded 1,20,000 times. The researchers were constantly monitoring the Joker malware and had witnessed regular uploads of it onto the Google Play store. Once the Google Android Security team was notified, the suspicious apps were removed. However, phones that already had these apps installed should remove them from their phones manually.

In a statement, Zscaler security researcher stated, “Joker is one of the most prominent malware families that continually targets Android devices. Despite awareness of this particular malware, it 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."

These are the apps affected by the malware and can be dangerous to the user’s data and device:

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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

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For the detailed report released by the security researchers, click here.

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