Recently, cybersecurity company Zscaler discovered 16 Android applications infected with Joker malware, silently collecting user data.
16 Malicious Apps You Should Remove Immediately
Joker is a rather dangerous piece of malware that secretly infiltrates phones through infected apps. Then stealthily collect SMS messages, contacts, device information … and automatically register for paid services without the consent of the user.
In January 2020, Google published a blog post stating that Joker is one of the most advanced and enduring threats they have had to deal with in the past few years. Since 2017, Google’s security team has removed more than 1,700 applications containing the Joker malware from Google Play.
The malware uses a technique called a “dropper” to bypass Google’s security defenses and infect the victim’s device.
First, malware creators copy the functionality of legitimate apps and upload it to Google Play. However, on the first launch, the app won’t perform any malicious activity, so Google’s security scan won’t be able to detect malicious code.
However, recently, Zscaler security researchers discovered the Joker malware lurking inside 16 Android apps, including:
– Private SMS
– Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
– Style Photo Collage
– Talent Photo Editor – Blur focus
– Paper Doc Scanner
– All Good PDF Scanner
– Care Messages
– Part Message
– Blue Scanner
– Direct Messenger
– One Sentence Translator – Multifunctional Translator
– Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
– Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons
– Tangram App Lock
– Desire Translate
– Meticulous Scanner
Currently, Google has removed these 16 malicious apps from Google Play, however, they will still exist on your phone if you have installed them before. To uninstall, press the icon of the application on the screen and select Uninstall.
In addition, users can also access Settings (settings) – Apps (applications) – Manage apps to uninstall applications.
Signs that your phone has been infected with Joker malware
The first sign is that the phone is unusually slow, the screen appears strange applications, the number of mobile data spikes, the battery drains …
Once the Joker malware successfully enters your phone, they will steal your personal information, money, and especially your identity.
To be on the safe side, users should only install apps on Google Play, although not all of the apps above are 100% safe.
A few days ago, Tim Cook (Apple CEO) stated that “Android has 47 times more malware than iOS”. While this information is still unclear, Cook is right in that Android is both less private and less secure than iOS.
“We designed iOS in such a way that there is only one App Store, all apps are reviewed before going public. As a result, a lot of malware isn’t in our ecosystem.”
Cook’s point is that you can’t install apps for iPhone from third-party app stores the same way you can on Android.