/Google removes 6 malicious apps from Play Store with 2 lakh downloads: Report

Google removes 6 malicious apps from Play Store with 2 lakh downloads: Report

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Cybersecurity researchers, on Wednesday, discovered six apps on the Google Play store with over 2 lakh downloads in total that were infected with the infamous Joker malware.

According to the report by the researchers, the apps are Convenient Scanner 2, Safety AppLock, Push Message-Texting & SMS, Emoji Wallpaper, Separate Doc Scanner, and Fingertip GameBox,

The report said, “The infected applications have now been deleted from Google Play, but are still installed on the devices of their users.”

Joker is a malicious bot (categorized as Fleeceware) whose main activity is to simulate clicks and intercept SMS to subscribe to unwanted paid premium services unbeknownst to users.

By using as little code as possible and thoroughly hiding it, Joker generates a very discreet footprint that can be tricky to detect.

Last year the same malware was found hiding in hundreds of apps. Google has removed over 1,700 apps containing Joker malware from the Play Store since 2017.

In July this year, researchers at cybersecurity firm Check Point discovered a new variant of the Joker Dropper and Premium Dialer spyware in Google Play.

Hiding in seemingly legitimate applications, this updated version of Joker was able to download additional malware to the device, which subscribes the user to premium services without their knowledge or consent.

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