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Google removes 17 apps infected with Joker malware from Play Store

Google has deleted 17 Android apps from Play Store which were infected with malware.


Google has removed 17 Android applications from its official distribution service platform -Play Store. The 17 apps, spotted by security researchers from Zscaler, were infected with the Joker (aka Bread) malware. Zscaler, is a California-based IT security company.

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Zscaler security researcher Viral Gandhi said, “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.”

As soon as Google was notified about the 17 malicious apps that intend to gain unauthorized access to the users’ data. The company swung into motion and removed the apps from the play store. They noticed that there were still a total of around 120,000 downloads for the identified malicious apps. The company used the Play Protect service to disable the apps on infected devices, but users will need to manually remove the apps from their devices.

The names of the 17 apps were:

  • All Good PDF Scanner
  • 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
  • All Good PDF Scanner

This is the third time that Google’s security team had to take any action against a batch of Joker-infected apps over the past few months. Google removed six such apps at the start of the month. Before that, in July, Google removed another batch of Joker-infected apps that had been active since March and had managed to infect millions of devices.

Also Read: Google takes Paytm off Play Store for policy violations

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