16 apps on Google Play Store caught distributing Joker malware

16 apps on Google Play Store caught distributing Joker malware

After removing six apps infected with the Joker malware earlier in Sep, Google has now removed 16 more apps from its Play Store.

The Joker malware, a billing-fraud strain of malware, has proven to be a persistent threat for Google Android. Despite the company’s relentless efforts, it’s still found in apps available on the Play Store.

In September, Google removed six such apps, which were infected with the Joker malware, as identified by Pradeo cybersecurity firm. These apps had a total of 200,000 downloads but in July 2020, the Joker malware was once again witnessed on Play Store.

See: Nasty malware duo pre-installed on thousands of cheap Android phones

Now, according to a report from cybersecurity firm Zscaler, Google has removed 16 more apps for the same reason. These apps were uploaded to the Play Store in September and had 120,000 downloads.

Logos of malicious apps (Image: Zscaler)

Zcaler’s Viral Gandhi explained that Joker is a spyware that can simulate clicks. It is called fleeceware, designed for stealing contact lists, SMS messages, and device information from the phone, apart from discreetly subscribing for “premium wireless application protocol (WAP) services.”

Joker malware is difficult to detect since it used minimal code. Zscaler researchers tried to understand ..