The popular ‘Joker’ malware has been detected in various apps available on the Google Play Store for three years now. Malware has now been detected in eight new applications, suggesting a new report by Quick Heal Security Labs. Malware is known for its ability to sneak into a user’s device through a program, following which it can collect data privately. Joker Malware steals data from the victim’s device via SMS messages, contact lists, and device details. This malware mostly reports a victim of premium subscriptions to other services, without the user’s consent. After the disclosure of eight new apps found to be associated with Joker malware, Google promptly removed these apps from the Play Store. However, if you have already downloaded and installed any of these apps, your device and privacy may be at great risk.

The eight apps found with malware are:

  • Auxiliary Message
  • Fast Magic SMS
  • Free CamScanner
  • Super Message
  • Element Scanner
  • Go Messages
  • Travel Wallpapers
  • Super SMS

If your smartphone has any of these eight apps installed, uninstall them immediately to stay safe.

According to Quick Heal’s report, these malware-affected apps will request notification access when they are launched and then take SMS data from these notifications. They will then request access to your contacts and be able to manage your call permissions. Apps continue to monitor all of this data while operating normally, without showing any signs of malicious activity. The report also claims that malware authors have distributed these applications to the Google Play Store in scanning apps, wallpaper apps, messaging apps. They can quickly become famous for their use of use cases. Therefore, users should always download such applications from trusted developers. On September 9, 2019, it was also discovered that a huge number of Android users were infected with the Joker virus by downloading 23 infected apps directly from the Google Play Store

By: Vedant Soni

Campus Ambassador, WCSF

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